Striking at the core of terror ecosystem; SIA becomes J&K’s premier investigating agency within a year

Agency focused on drying up, dismantling terror environment
R R Swain Special DG CID, Director SIA
R R Swain Special DG CID, Director SIASpecial arrangement

Jammu: Cracking high-profile and sensational cases, the State Investigation Agency (SIA), within one year of its inception, has been able to strike at the very core of “operating software to the campaign of terrorism” in J&K.

Though it has been a tricky proposition, those dealing with the “cases of special nature” believe that the premier investigation agency of J&K UT formed for “coordinating with NIA and other central agencies” for speedy and effective investigation and prosecution of all kinds of terrorism related cases has managed to do the task with an exceptional disposal rate and professionalism.

To substantiate their claims, they refer to an “impressive list of top-notch cases” registered and investigated by SIA since its inception in November 2021.

The very first case figured in the list pertained to the “sale of MBBS seats by secessionist elements in connivance with Pakistani handlers”. Following challan, the charges were framed, under the case FIR No 05/20 P/S CIK/SIA Srinagar, against the accused, presently under trial.

The second case is related to Majid Guroo’s killing. In this case of the killing of a youth belonging to the 'Gujjar Gang' by terrorists of the TRF outfit, registered under FIR No 67/21 of Police Station Safa Kadal, charges have been framed, and the accused is under trial.

“Other high-profile cases being dealt with by the SIA included Waheed Rehman Parra case FIR No 31/20 of Police Station CIK/SIA, Srinagar which was indicative of political and terrorist nexus, and Srinagar espionage case under FIR No 11/22 of Police Station CIK/SIA involving a CRPF man in providing information to terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan wherein the accused is in judicial custody after charge-sheeting; production of supplementary challans in cases related to narco-terrorism under FIR No 03/21 and 05/21 of Police Station CIK/SIA Srinagar,” official sources said.

“A trail of these cases makes it evident that SIA is strictly following its avowed objective which has been very aptly described by Special DG CID and SIA’s Director R R Swain that there is a “need to address the ideology, which is working as the operating software to the entire campaign of terrorism.” Reason being, those providing “logistic, financial, ideological support to terrorism as an ecosystem” were much more dangerous. So since its inception, SIA is aimed at dismantling the ecosystem and infrastructure of terror networks. The agency has investigated 450 cases of special nature with a disposal rate of 65 percent generating tremendous fear among anti-peace elements within the first year of its inception as the DGP Dilbag Singh mentioned in his address at the SIA’s 1st Raising Day function,” they said.

SIA vide J&K government Order No 286-Home of 2021 dated November 1, 2021, was constituted as a specialised nodal agency for “coordinating with NIA and other central agencies” to take measures as required for speedy and effective investigation and prosecution of terrorism-related cases, all terrorism-related cases, all terrorist activities including terrorist financing and terrorism linked cases.

Referring to a few other significant cases being dealt with by SIA, they said, “Moreover, terror case under FIR No 05/22 of Police Station CIK/SIA Srinagar has also been charge-sheeted, besides, case FIR No 61/22 of Police Station Tarzoo has been charge sheeted against three accused before the court. Yet another case FIR No 09/21 of Police Station CIK related to terror funding for sustaining the families of active and killed terrorists as well was challaned on August 26, 2022. In this case, the accused are under arrest. Funds were routed through Dubai in this case.”

The SIA also successfully cracked case FIR No 429/2021 of Police Station Nagrota (transferred to SIA Jammu) wherein 3 JeM terror associates and 2 Punjab-based narcotic modules were arrested. They were working at the behest of JeM terrorist commander Ashiq Nengroo based in Pakistan. In this case, an accused gangster Gopi Mahal of Amritsar is absconding.

Yet another significant case FIR No 01/2022 under Sections 13 and 18 of UAPA, 121, 153 B, and 201 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and 35 and 39 of FCRA being investigated by SIA pertained to “narrative terrorism against contaminated and compromised media persons for writing articles against the state, brazenly glorifying terrorism and abetting the commission of unlawful and terrorist activities”.

Explaining the thoroughly professional approach the agency is pursuing in its handling of cases, sources point out that these cases have been registered by SIA under specific categories as per its mandate.

Specifying the categories, official sources mentioned that Category A pertained to violent terror crime cases like killing, injuring, blasting, looting, kidnapping, and intimidating; Category B related to cases involving tactical logistics like new recruitment, SIM card supply, transport support or vehicle supply, medical attention, food, and clothing supply, informing about security forces in advance and helping in escaping from arrests. Category C related to “strategic logistics” cases like arranging finances, arranging and providing accommodation, identifying anti-terrorist and anti-separatist figures (political activists, police officers, other government officers, journalists, lawyers, and social activists) or other innocent civilians as part of target killing.

“Creating false narrative by using half-truths or being selective with information to invent false justification in support of terrorism and secessionism and advocating and propagating such justifications amounting to provocation, instigation, radicalisation, indoctrination, propaganda resulting in (or) aimed at recruitment in terrorist and secessionist ranks, subversion, sabotage, street violence, and arson is dealt under Category D. This involves using religion by religious clerics, Maulavis and Khateebs; educational platforms including teachers, schools, colleges, universities and Madrasas, and using mass media including journalists and columnists,” sources said about the functioning of SIA.

Its category E pertained to cases involving political persons clandestinely or overtly indulging in acts that fall under categories A, B, C, and D (especially D) to “politically mobilise persons or seek votes”.

SIA vide J&K government Order No 286-Home of 2021 dated November 1, 2021, was constituted as a specialised nodal agency for “coordinating with NIA and other central agencies” to take measures as required for speedy and effective investigation and prosecution of terrorism-related cases, all terrorism-related cases, all terrorist activities including terrorist financing and terrorism linked cases.

Referring to a few other significant cases being dealt with by SIA, they said, “Moreover, terror case under FIR No 05/22 of Police Station CIK/SIA Srinagar has also been charge-sheeted, besides, case FIR No 61/22 of Police Station Tarzoo has been charge sheeted against three accused before the court. Yet another case FIR No 09/21 of Police Station CIK related to terror funding for sustaining the families of active and killed terrorists as well was challaned on August 26, 2022. In this case, the accused are under arrest. Funds were routed through Dubai in this case.”

The SIA also successfully cracked case FIR No 429/2021 of Police Station Nagrota (transferred to SIA Jammu) wherein 3 JeM terror associates and 2 Punjab-based narcotic modules were arrested. They were working at the behest of JeM terrorist commander Ashiq Nengroo based in Pakistan. In this case, an accused gangster Gopi Mahal of Amritsar is absconding.

Yet another significant case FIR No 01/2022 under Sections 13 and 18 of UAPA, 121, 153 B, and 201 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and 35 and 39 of FCRA being investigated by SIA pertained to “narrative terrorism against contaminated and compromised media persons for writing articles against the state, brazenly glorifying terrorism and abetting the commission of unlawful and terrorist activities”.

Explaining the thoroughly professional approach the agency is pursuing in its handling of cases, sources point out that these cases have been registered by SIA under specific categories as per its mandate.

Specifying the categories, official sources mentioned that Category A pertained to violent terror crime cases like killing, injuring, blasting, looting, kidnapping, and intimidating; Category B related to cases involving tactical logistics like new recruitment, SIM card supply, transport support or vehicle supply, medical attention, food, and clothing supply, informing about security forces in advance and helping in escaping from arrests. Category C related to “strategic logistics” cases like arranging finances, arranging and providing accommodation, identifying anti-terrorist and anti-separatist figures (political activists, police officers, other government officers, journalists, lawyers, and social activists) or other innocent civilians as part of target killing.

“Creating false narrative by using half-truths or being selective with information to invent false justification in support of terrorism and secessionism and advocating and propagating such justifications amounting to provocation, instigation, radicalisation, indoctrination, propaganda resulting in (or) aimed at recruitment in terrorist and secessionist ranks, subversion, sabotage, street violence, and arson is dealt under Category D. This involves using religion by religious clerics, Maulavis and Khateebs; educational platforms including teachers, schools, colleges, universities and Madrasas, and using mass media including journalists and columnists,” sources said about the functioning of SIA.

Its category E pertained to cases involving political persons clandestinely or overtly indulging in acts that fall under categories A, B, C, and D (especially D) to “politically mobilise persons or seek votes”.

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