Jaitley lauds NIA terror arrests, slams Cong for criticising snooping' order

Jaitley asked if crackdown on terror module would have been possible without 'interception of electronic communications'.

New Delhi: A day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted an alleged Islamic State terror plot in New Delhi and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Union Minister Arun Jaitley congratulated the NIA and also took the opportunity to hit back at the Opposition, who has been demanding the withdrawal of the recent Ministry of Home Affairs order authorising investigative agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer.

Jaitley defended the Centre's "snooping" order and asked if the crackdown on the terror module would have been possible without “interception of electronic communications”.

“Well done for cracking the dangerous terrorist module,” Jaitley tweeted, adding “Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?”

Intensifying his attack on the Congress for accusing the Modi-government of "snooping on citizens" and saying “George Orwell is around the corner”, the Union minister said, “Were the maximum intercepts done during the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May, 2014.”

Arun Jaitley was responding to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s earlier attack on the Modi government in which the latter said, “If anybody is going to monitor the computer, including your computer, that is the Orwellian state. George Orwell is around the corner. It is condemnable.”

Jaitley said that “National security and sovereignty are paramount,” and added, “Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation – not in a terrorist dominated State.”

On Wednesday, The NIA on Wednesday busted a suspected ISIS-inspired terror group and arrested 10 suspects, who it said, were planning suicide attacks and serial blasts targeting politicians and government installations in Delhi and other parts of north India.

A locally-made rocket launcher, material for suicide vests and 100 alarm clocks — to be used as timers — were recovered from the searches, said National Investigation Agency (NIA) inspector general Alok Mittal.

The searches were carried out in coordination with Special Cell of Delhi Police and ATS of Uttar Pradesh Police at six places in Jaffrabad, Seelampur in Delhi, and 11 places in Uttar Pradesh (six in Amroha, two in Lucknow, two in Hapur and one in Meerut), he said.

The searches and the arrests, including of a ‘mufti’ from Amroha, come a month before Republic Day celebrations on January 26 when security is heightened across India, particularly in the national capital.

The NIA said the “highly-radicalised module” of youths in the age group of 20 and 35 years is completely self-funded and no criminal antecedent of its members had surfaced so far in the investigation.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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