Parliament passes bill to give NIA more teeth

Parliament passes bill to give NIA more teeth
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New Delhi: Parliament passed a bill on Wednesday giving more powers to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe terrorist acts against Indians and Indian interests abroad.

The Bill amends NIA Act of 2008 that provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in the scheduled offences. The amendments to the NIA Act also extends to cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking.

Further, the Act allows for the creation of Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.

The bill was already passed by the Lok Sabha on July 15.

The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack that had claimed 166 lives. Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been pushing for giving more powers to the NIA to meet fresh challenges.

Defending the bill, the government refuted opposition's allegations of "misuse" of the NIA law to target members of a community and stressed that people have given the mandate to the government to protect the country from terrorism.

Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that the law will be used to finish off terrorism and not to target any community. He added that the bill sends a clear message to terrorists and the world.

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