Arvind Sharma & Irfan Yattoo
JAMMU/Srinagar, Nov 08: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) apprehended a Rohingya national from the Bhatindi area of Jammu.
The detainee, identified as Zaffar Alam, is facing charges related to the violation of the Passports Act and is also linked to a human trafficking case in Manipur, a north eastern state in India. This case was originally registered in Manipur approximately three years ago, according to official sources.
The NIA's operation in Jammu resulted in the detention of Zaffar Alam from his temporary residence in Bathindi.
The agency conducted raids with the intention of taking two individuals into custody, but only one Rohingya (Mynamar) national was successfully detained. The other accomplice remains on the run, with NIA officials actively pursuing his apprehension.
The local authorities, including the Station House Officer (SHO) of Bahu Fort, SD Singh Jamwal, confirmed the NIA's involvement in the case, citing its connection to the Passports Act and the human trafficking case registered in Manipur.
SHO Jamwal noted that the NIA team sought assistance from the local police to locate and apprehend the accused, ultimately resulting in one arrest.
While the SHO did not divulge further details, emphasising that the matter remains under NIA investigation, it is evident that the agency is conducting widespread operations to tackle human trafficking.
The NIA executed raids across eight states and two union territories, including Tripura, Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, and Puducherry, in pursuit of individuals involved in human trafficking activities.
Meanwhile, NIA spokesman said that in a big blow to human trafficking networks operating across 55 locations in 10 States and UTs, NIA in close coordination with the Border Security Force (BSF) and State Police forces, conducted a comprehensive Operation across multiple states in India today morning.
"The operation aimed at dismantling illegal human trafficking support networks involved in infiltration and settlement of illegal migrants across the Indo-Bangladesh border into India," he said.
The spokesman said that following registration of 4 Human trafficking cases at the NIA branches in Guwahati, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur, simultaneous and synchronised raids and searches were carried out at a total of 55 locations across the States and union territories.
"The initial case, FIR no: 12/2023 dated 9.9.2023, was registered by the Assam Police's Special Task Force (STF) and pertained to a human trafficking network responsible for the infiltration and settlement of illegal migrants across Indo-Bangladesh border into India, including those of Rohingya origin," he said.
The spokesman said that the operations of this network extended into various parts of the country, including regions along the Indo-Bangladesh international border. Recognising the international and inter-State linkages of the case and its complexity, the NIA formally took charge of the investigations on 06.10.2023 by registering a case as RC 01/2023/NIA/GUW at the NIA Police Station in Guwahati.
The spokesman said that in response to these investigational findings, the NIA registered three new cases to bust the modules of this extensive network based in different regions and States of the country.
"Coordinated raids were executed early today morning as part of the ongoing Operation," he said.
During the searches, the NIA recovered various items of significance, including digital devices, such as mobile phones, SIM cards, and pen drives.
"A significant number of identity-related documents, including Aadhar cards and Pan Cards, suspected to be forged. Indian currency notes with a total value exceeding Rs. 20 lakhs.Foreign currency amounting to 4550 USD," he said.