City blasts probe shifted to NIA
The tussle between the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Andhra Pradesh police over who should investigate the February 21 twin bomb blasts, finally came to an end on Monday with the state government announcing that it has decided to hand over the case to NIA.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy spoke to Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and conveyed that the case would be handed over to the NIA so as to speed up the probe. He also wrote to the Union home ministry that the probe may be taken over by NIA from the state police. On Monday, he convened a meeting with NIA IG Ravishanker Ayyanar, DGP V Dinesh Reddy, home minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy and senior officials at the Secretariat, and reviewed the progress of the case.
Speaking to reporters later, Sabita Indra Reddy said the investigation would be speeded up if the case is transferred to NIA. She said the Mecca Masjid blast case too was handed over to the NIA in the past.
Asked whether it was felt that the state police could not handle the investigation, the home minister said local police would assist the NIA. “NIA has nation-wide jurisdiction, which will ensure speedy probe,” she said.
At present, various units of the state police, including the Counter Intelligence Cell, SIT in Hyderabad city police and CID are working on the case and sources said they are far from finding any lead in the case, which reportedly has a Pakistan and Saudi Arabia angle to it.
The home minister said the state police are taking all measures to ensure that such terror strikes do not recur.