Three National Investigation Agency (NIA) officers have been transferred overnight for allegedly demanding Rs 2 crore in bribes to not name a Delhi-based businessman in a terror-funding case involving Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. The action against the officers, who have been shifted pending a "thorough examination of the matter", comes after the businessman, who has not been named, filed a complaint of misconduct with the agency. A probe has been ordered and will be overseen by a DIG-rank officer.
"A complaint of misconduct was received against the officers. An enquiry into the allegations is being conducted by a Deputy Inspector General-level officer. In the meantime, the three officials have been transferred out to ensure a fair probe," an NIA spokesperson was quoted in an IANS report.
One of the transferred officers is a Superintendent of Police, who has also been involved in cases like the 2007 Samjhauta blast case. The other two are junior officers. All three were investigating the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), run by Hafiz Saeed, chief of Pakistan-based terrorist group Laskhar-e-Taiba,
They had carried out searches at the businessman's residence in North Delhi, after which they demanded a bribe to keep his name out of the case.
"We have initiated an enquiry against the officials to maintain a zero-tolerance policy against corruption. Strict action will be taken if they are found to have indulged in corruption," a NIA officer said.
In a chargesheet filed last month, the agency had named seven persons, including Hafiz Saeed, on charges of criminal conspiracy under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The document stated that FIF deputy chief Shahid Mahmood tasked associates Mohammed Kamran, a Pakistan national from Dubai, with routing funds from Pakistan to India via Dubai.
Also last month, a senior Home Ministry official said Hafiz Saeed would be among the first to be banned by the government, as individuals, under amendments to the UAPA passed earlier this year.
The agency has been given a whole new range of investigative powers under amendments to the NIA Bill and UAPA in the recently concluded parliament session.
Last year the NIA had registered another case against Shahid Mahmood, charging him with conspiracy to create sleeper cells in Delhi and Haryana under the guise of religious work.
Hafiz Saeed had been arrested by Pakistan on terror-financing charges and sent to Lahore Jail last month, in an operation that came just days before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC.
With input from IANS