NIA likely to take over Kashmir civilian killings probe

New Delhi,  The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is likely to hand over the probe of recent civilian killings in Kashmir to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), sources in the security set up said here on Tuesday.

According to sources, the investigation in these killings indicates a definite pattern leading to the terror angle, therefore, the investigation may be assigned to the national anti-terror probe agency.

They also said that this issue was discussed threadbare in the National Security Strategy Conference held on Monday wherein Union Home Minister Amit Shah discussed it with all stakeholders in detail.

Another source in the government setup said that civilian killings in Kashmir have given a wrong signal and most of the migrant labourers and non-Kashmiris are leaving Kashmir leading to a sense of fear among the local residents too.

These gruesome incidents have also spread fear among the Kashmiris Pandits who were willing to go back to the valley at the behest of the government initiatives.

The local NIA team has already been assisting the J&K Police in the killings probe and trying to identify the masterminds behind these killings.

The sources also said that the central agencies have been scanning the old cases of stone pelters as targeted killings revealed that these killers are not from the regular terrorists’ cadre.

“The probe agency will take over the cases of Kashmiri Pandit Pharmaceutical dealer Makhan Lal Bindroo; Virendra Paswan, a non-Kashmiri street vendor from Bihar and the other labourers,” the senior officials added.

The NIA Director-General Kuldeep Singh visited Srinagar on Monday and reportedly discussed the situation with other security stakeholders.

Singh, who is also the DG of the CRPF which is playing a major counter-terror operation in the valley, has also directed the force to re-strategize the operation against the terror groups in the valley.

So far, 11 civilians have been killed in the last 16 days.

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