Headless NIA clueless about Chattisgarh probe
Almost two months have passed since former National Investigating Agency (NIA) chief SC Sinha was appointed as member NHRC and the government still hasn’t been able to find his replacement. Adding insult to injury, the force is finding it difficult in the absence of a leader to meet the responsibility assigned to them after the Chhattisgarh naxal attack which killed 27 people including top Congress state leaders. The home ministry has ordered a NIA probe on Monday into the incident. Besides, the Italian marine case, which involves international maneuvering, is also being probed by NIA without the guidance of a head.
Sources in the NIA said that the morale of the force is down as no chief has been assigned and crucial decisions are being delayed. ‘It seems the government is not at all serious as far as the NIA is concerned. Otherwise, they would have been more proactive in the appointment,’ sources said.
Sources said that few senior IPS officers have expressed their reluctance to join NIA as chief which may be the cause of the delay. The government in April had short-listed the name of Odisha police chief Prakash Mishra who reportedly had showed reluctance to head the central agency. The other name which was short-listed was of Haryana police director general (prison) Sharad Kumar.
While Mishra earlier served in the NIA as its additional DG, Kumar had handled the Samjhauta Express train blast probe before the case was handed over to the central agency which later found the terror incident to be the handiwork of Hindu radicals. Special director in CBI Salim Ali’s name was also doing the rounds. No final decision, however, has been taken.
NIA chief is selected from short-listed names of officers given by the MHA to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments. A committee comprising of Prime Minister, Home Minister and Minister of Personnel appoints the head. The home ministry in April had given charge to senior IPS officer N R Wasan, who is officiating as DG, is presently serving as additional DG in the agency.