NIA Taking Over Investigations In The Targeted Killing Cases

SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is reported to have taken over the cases of the recent spate of civilian killings in Kashmir. Almost 11 civilians including members from the minority community and at least five seasonal migrant workers were killed in a series of events starting with the killing of a pharmacist, M K Bindroo.

Female para-military personnel search the belongings of some girls during a surprise checking in Srinagar, Monday, October 18, 2021. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

The killings have pushed Kashmir to an edge as hundreds of migrant workers have left in a panic. Though most of the workforce continues to stay put, the tensions are still on the rose.

Authorities have taken some precautionary measures including moving some workforce in vulnerable areas to safe destinations for the time being. The deployments have been reinforced and the clusters where the workforce puts up are being monitored on 24 x 7 basis.

It was in the backdrop of these widely condemned targeted killings that the NIA is reported to have taken over the investigations. The police had already questioned hundreds of people including teachers. The exact status of the investigations however is still not known. Police have already stated that they have solved the killing of one Sumo Stand president in north Kashmir.

One report said the NIA has taken over at least two cases so far. It was not immediately known which two cases these are. Unconfirmed reports said these are the killing of chemist Makhanlal Bindroo and street vendor Virendra Paswan, which took place on October 5. The two were the first killing in the spate of autumn killings.

The NIA, it may be recalled here is a specialized federal investigating agency that is investigating a number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir. The agency is empowered to deal with terror-related crimes across Indian states without special permission from the states. It came into being with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on December 31, 2008, which was passed after the 26/11-terror attack in Mumbai.

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