By Shashi Kant
Never has the credibility of any of the national security agencies reached the depths as it has with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), especially in light of the attacks in Dinanagar and Pathankot. It appears that the NIA either consists of not-so-bright officers taken on loan from other sister agencies or the security/police agencies.
My own decades-long experience in the police and security agencies indicates that normally certain specified categories of officials like to opt for such assignments. In the first category come officials who are declared persona non grata; guys whom the parent states or agencies do not want to see working within their precincts because of one reason or the other and these reasons generally include ‘undesired activism’, that is, being so upright that they become an unwanted and undue hindrance in the 'smooth' working of the hierarchy. The next category includes those officials who want to live a 'peaceful life' and to look after their families. Yet another category includes those who are so inept that no one wants them. The last and most deadly of the category includes those who are really ambitious and thus want to remain in the 'scorching proximity’ of centers of power and aim at good post-retirement benefits and cushy postings. In other word, they include, ‘all the minister’s men, the yes men’. And our NIA, which was created in a rush, appears to be no exception.
In the contest of Punjab, one fails to understand the very reason why NIA had not intervened in the Dinanagar attack. Being the premier national security and investigative agency they did not require a written invite from the host state of our Indian Punjab on a saffron piece of paper. It was no wedding party. There were telltale signs of an inside job, including sleeper cells, drug smugglers and certain politicians belonging to some particular party. It is a well-known fact that a well-oiled politician-drug smuggler-security agency mechanism has been at play in Punjab. My question to the NIA is: Why the hell did you not intervene and at whose behest did you hold back?
And exactly the same thing got a repeat performance in Pathankot. It is not relevant if the terrorists came via Ujh River and went on to Khooni Naala or they came in through Simblescole on Tarna River. Question is how they sneaked in and with whose help. Who sheltered them in the first instance and who all helped them traversing the entire length up to Pathankot air base and who helped them crossing over the periphery wall and who all sheltered them within the air base. There are innumerable questions but no answer. Names of certain politicians and their henchmen are doing the rounds but who bothers?
NIA shouldn’t shame the country by playing games at the behest of certain politicians. The organisation’s history is being written and the entire world is watching.
The author is former director general of police (prisons), Punjab