Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday lauded the role of National Investigating Agency (NIA) for the crackdown on “dangerous terrorist module” and wondered whether the actions could be linked to interception of electronic communications.
“Well done NIA for cracking the dangerous terrorist module,” he wrote in a series of tweets.
The Finance Minister also said: “Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?”
Making a veiled attack on the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government, he said: “Were the maximum intercepts done during the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May, 2014”.
“National security and sovereignty are paramount. Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation – not in a terrorist dominated State,” he wrote in another missive in the micro blogging site.
The terse remarks from the Minister and senior BJP leader comes in reference to criticism launched by Congress and other opposition parties on the supposed electronic surveillance ordered by the
Union Home Ministry on December 20.
Mr Jaitley on Friday told Rajya Sabha that there was no order for snooping by the Home ministry through telecommunication monitoring on any computer system in the country.
He said that the Opposition was ‘making a mountain’ of a molehill and that the decision was taken in the interest of national security.
Responding to Opposition members, including Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma, Mr Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha that nothing new has been done as the law on the same subject was enacted in 2009 during the stint of Congress led UPA government.
He said ‘The Opposition members were making a mountain where a molehill doesn’t exist’.
The minister said it would have been better if the Opposition members had tried to get more information on it before raising it in the House.
‘The law made in 2009 had actually identified the agencies which will do the monitoring,’ he said , adding that time to time notification has to be issued.
The NIA on Wednesday ‘busted’ a terror cell in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh that was purportedly planning attacks on senior BJP and RSS leaders, and in crowded markets by early next year.
The agency said a pro-Islamic State (IS) terror group Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam was behind the planned attacks.
Ten people were arrested and a huge quantity of arms, including 12 pistols and a country-made rocket launcher, seized.
The Insides Speak