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NIA officer shot dead in Uttar Pradesh

An Inspector of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the counter-terror investigation agency formed after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants in front of his wife and children in Bijnore, western Uttar Pradesh, in the early hours of Sunday.



Tanzil Ahmad, 45, died on the spot, while his wife Farzana was taken to a hospital in Noida, where she is in a critical condition. His daughter (14) and son (12) are unharmed.



Ahmad, an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent, who was on deputation from the Border Security Force, had been posted to the NIA as Inspector, when the agency was created in 2009.



Because of his proficiency in Urdu, Ahmad was the key liaison officer during the visit last week of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack.



Ahmad joined the BSF in 1991 as a Sub-Inspector and was posted along the western and eastern borders.



“He was returning from his niece’s wedding in nearby Sahaspur village when he was killed barely 300 metres from his ancestral house at Bijnore. The road near his house is potholed, which made him slow down his Wagon R. The two assailants pulled up near his car and shot at him 24 times. It was a planned attack. Two bullets hit his wife. There was no attempt to harm the children,” Daljeet Singh Chaudhary, ADG, Law and Order, Uttar Pradesh, told The Hindu on the phone.



An NIA official said: “It could well be possible that he was targeted because of his anti-terror work. It looks like he was targeted and killed and nothing can be ruled out.”



Mr. Chaudhary said the assailants had covered their faces and were not wearing helmets. “It appears a 9-mm bore prohibited weapon was used; we have sent the empty cartridges for forensic examination.” Six police teams have been formed for investigation .



A key investigator of core team



NIA Director-General S.K. Singh has said Tanzil Ahmad, an NIA Inspector shot dead in western Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, was “one of the best field officers we had”.



“Most of the NIA officers get involved in all the cases we investigate; so was Ahmad. He worked on many cases related to the SIMI, the Indian Mujahideen, the Bardhaman blasts, the recent arrests related to the IS and the fake currency racket,” said Mr. Singh, who has worked with Ahmad since his deputation to the agency six years ago.



His colleagues described him as one of the key investigators of the “core team” of the NIA. The agency has a shortage of staff and he was one of some 20 Inspectors the NIA has at its Delhi headquarters. “He was part of the core team, and since we have a shortage of staff, he worked on almost all the cases registered in Delhi. He travelled a lot as part of his work,” said an NIA official.



Another official said: “He had a good understanding of work. From operations to intelligence-gathering and investigations, he was part of everything.” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in Lucknow that he had been apprised of the incident. “Whatever is necessary is being done. We are talking [to NIA officials],” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)


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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 5:09:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/NIA-officer-shot-dead-in-Uttar-Pradesh/article14217573.ece

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