August 13, 2016 2:08:50 am
In a statement that assumes significance in the context of the CBI’s efforts to secure the Home Ministry’s nod to prosecute IB officers in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said the government is considering legal protection for undercover anti-terror operations.
Singh also said there is a need to create an atmosphere in which Dalits can approach the police without hesitation when they are victimised.
He said: “Our government is committed to punish terrorists. We are working to strengthen the UA(P) Act [Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act] and the NIA Act [National Investigation Agency Act]. We are considering legal protection for undercover operation, use of intelligence collected as evidence, and the entire gamut of issues relevant to combating terrorism.”
Speaking at the first National Conference of Investigating Agencies, Singh said, “Our government is also examining enactment of Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to provide legal sanction for evidence obtained through Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties and remove doubts about admissibility of such evidence.”
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The two-day conference is being organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in coordination with the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
“Our government is committed towards empowerment and development of our Dalit brothers,” the minister said. “We have to create the atmosphere where Dalits can approach the police without hesitation when they are victimised. Our government has strengthened the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by amending it in 2014. By this amendment, a new category of offences has been added.”
He added, “Duties of (a) public servant have bee n specified and punishments prescribed for negligence of duty. A chapter on rights of victims and witnesses has also been added. The implementation of this Act is the responsibility of state governments and the local police.”
Due to widespread use of online social media by terrorists, security agencies are facing new threats, Singh said. “To face these challenges, the present capabilities of specialised organisations such as CERT-IN, C-DAC may need to be strengthened,” he said.
Speaking about crimes against women and safety of women, Singh said dedicated Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW) were being established in 564 districts across the country. A third of investigators in these units will be women, and funds will be made available by the Centre and state government on a 50:50 partnership.
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