FM Arun Jaitley Lauds NIA Raids, Defends Govt’s Snooping Order
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lauded the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday, 27 December, for busting an alleged Islamic State terror plot, and defended a recent government order authorising investigative agencies to monitor any computer.
"Well done NIA for cracking the dangerous terrorist module," he tweeted. "Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?"
Jaitley hit out at the Congress, which along with other Opposition parties, has attacked the government for "snooping on citizens" through its order authorising investigative agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer.
"Were the maximum intercepts done during the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May 2014," he said in another tweet.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches across 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi in connection with its probe into a new ISIS-inspired module on Wednesday.
The officials at the NIA confirmed that the module was in the advanced stage of carrying out a series of blasts.
“Level of preparation,” the Inspector General of NIA said, “suggests their aim was to carry out explosions in near future by remote control blasts and fidayeen attacks. This is a new ISIS-inspired module which was in touch with a foreign agent. Identities of the suspects is yet to be established.”
Opposition Berates the ‘Dictator’ Order
The Union minister for finance was responding to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's attack on the government saying, "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."
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, too, had attacked the order saying, "It's only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians what an insecure dictator you really are."
The order, Jaitley had last week stated, was under a 2009 rule and the Opposition was "making a mountain where even a molehill doesn't exist."
"National security and sovereignty are paramount. Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation not in a terrorist dominated state," Jaitley said on Thursday.
The NIA, after conducting raids across UP and Delhi, said the group self-appointed and financed was in an "advanced stage of carrying out a series of blasts" across the country and had "vital installations and important personalities, including politicians" on their target.
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