Jaitley lauds NIA, defends snooping order
New Delhi, Dec 27 : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday lauded the NIA for busting an alleged Islamic terror plot, saying it would not have been possible without interception of electronic communication, which is the centrepiece of a controversial government order issued last week.
"Well done NIA for cracking the dangerous terrorist module," he tweeted. "Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?"
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Wednesday arrested 10 persons after raids at 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi for allegedly being part of a module of the IS.
Jaitley hit out at the Congress, which along with other opposition parties, has attacked the government for "snooping on citizens" through its order authorising investigative agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer.
"Were the maximum intercepts done during the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May 2014," he said in another tweet.
He was responding to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's attack on the government saying, "If anybody is going to monitor the computer, including your computer, that is the Orwellian state. George Orwell is around the corner. It is condemnable".
Congress president Rahul Gandhi too had attacked the order saying, "It's only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians what an insecure dictator you really are".
The order, Jaitley had last week stated, was under a 2009 rule and the opposition was "making a mountain where even a molehill doesn't exist".
"National security and sovereignty are paramount. Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation – not in a terrorist dominated state," Jaitley said Thursday.
The NIA Wednesday said the group — self-appointed and financed — was in an "advanced stage of carrying out a series of blasts" across the country and had "vital installations and important personalities, including politicians" on their target.