Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said extremism in the Northeast has reduced by 75 per cent and “naxalism” by around 40 per cent over the past three years. Praising the National Investigation Agency (NIA), he said its name triggers fear among those involved in terror funding. The home minister further said that fake currency played an important role in facilitating “naxalism”, extremism and terrorism, and that NIA was investigating sources of terror funding.
“If sources of terror funding are finished, terrorism can be defeated,” he added, addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Lucknow office and residential complex of the agency. Four states including UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are within the jurisdiction of the Lucknow office. Singh said that because of the NIA’s work in Jammu and Kashmir, there had been a major drop in the number of stone-pelting incidents in the state. He said the agency was an autonomous organisation and since there was no interference in its work, it was executing its job very effectively.
CM Yogi Adityanath, who was also present at the event, called for a coordination meeting between NIA and the investigation and intelligence agencies of all four states under its Lucknow office every six months. He also said that, hailing from an area (eastern UP) that shares its border with Nepal, he was concerned that an open border could be misused for an inflow of the fake currency into the Indian market, thus affecting its economy and possibly posing a threat to national security.
“A lot could be achieved when NIA will coordinate with agencies of the states and guide them in connecting with advanced technologies,” Adityanath said. “To counter terrorism, we will have to equip our agencies with advanced technologies and when that is done with a team spirit, India will win against terrorism,” he added. The home minister said such meetings were a continuous process.
Singh further said that while the four states which fall under the jurisdiction of NIA’s Lucknow office were “peaceful” in the context of terrorism, there were still 20 cases that are being investigated by the office. He added that the agency was investigating 165 cases across the country and its conviction rate was 95 per cent. Adityanath also said that India has always been sensitive in the context of terrorism, while it seems that some neighbouring countries have included terrorism in their foreign policies.