The Centre was working on formulating a national database on internal security, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday, the Hindustan Times reported. The database would have details on acts of terrorism, terror funding, fake currency, narcotics, smuggling and more such offences.
“Investigations can no more depend on third-degree [torture of suspects], Shah said, according to The Indian Express. “Investigation should depend on technique, data and information. If we want to bring this reform, we will need to create databases and have expertise in digital forensics.”
The database will help the state police forces and central investigation agencies, the home minister said.
“Any data, if it is maintained in silos, is of no use, but if it is shared with each other and is analysed properly, it will be very helpful,” he added.
He was speaking at the 13th foundation day of the National Investigation Agency at Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, ANI reported.
The Union minister said that the Narendra Modi-led central government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism in the country. “Terrorism is the biggest form of human rights violation,” he said, according to PTI. “It is absolutely necessary to root out terrorism to protect human rights.”
Describing terrorism as a curse for any civilised society, Shah said that no country has suffered due to terrorism as much as India. “In the field of terrorism, it is one thing to fight terror and terrorists, and another to uproot terrorism itself,” said Shah, according to The Indian Express.
Shah complimented the National Investigation Agency for its tough stance against terror outfits in Jammu and Kashmir. The terror funding cases by the investigation agency in Jammu and Kashmir have choked the financing of terror acts he said.
He expressed hope that the National Investigation Agency would achieve success in dealing with cases of funding of Maoists, as it did in Kashmir.
Shah said that the Modi government has taken many steps to give more power in the hands of the agency including strengthening the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Under the UAPA, investigative agencies get 180 days to probe a case, compared to 60-90 days under ordinary criminal law. This means an accused is eligible to apply for bail only after six months.
However, lawyers have said that the police in India have frequently used the anti-terrorism law as it enables them to detain the accused for longer periods of time without a trial. Lawyers saw this as part of police efforts to stifle peaceful dissent.
Last year, Supreme Court judge DY Chandrachud had also remarked that the UAPA should not be misused to curb dissent.