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Cabinet clears anti-terror steps


BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

The Union Cabinet today gave its nod to the setting up of a National Investigation Agency (NIA) that would have jurisdiction to probe crimes like terrorism, which have national and international implications.

The NIA is being set up as part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s move to have stronger anti-terrorist laws in the wake of the November 26 terrorist strikes in Mumbai.

In another decision in this direction, the Cabinet also approved two Bills to amend the existing laws —Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Act.

The CISF Act is being amended to enable this paramilitary force to extend its security net to the private sector. Currently, the CISF provides security cover to the central government installations and public sector undertakings.

As promised by Home Minister P Chidambaram, these Bills will be introduced in the current session of Parliament.

Meanwhile, a demand was made in the Cabinet to hold bureaucrats responsible for the lapses in the Mumbai terror strikes.

Acting on the demand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directed the Cabinet Secretary to look into the matter.

Leading the demand, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that it were politicians who had to bear the brunt all the time whenever any such incident took place, sources said.

Pawar also questioned what should be done to bureaucrats of the government, RAW, IB and others on whom the entire responsibility of security and intelligence was.