Stating that the proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) would provide states with more powers to deal with terrorism, Union Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh said on Saturday his ministry was hopeful that a consensus on the NCTC bill would emerge at the meeting of state chief ministers with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 5.
“They (state chief ministers) have some reservations. They want the ‘Standing Operating Procedures’ to be laid first. There has been some confusion and in the next meeting on May 5 all doubts would be cleared,” the minister said after giving away trophies to winners of 12th All India Police Rifle and Revolver firing competition at BSF’s Reoti Range in Indore.
“Terrorism is a major issue facing the country...if the country does not have effective law, how are we going to face the challenge...we need stronger law. What I understand is that the NCTC will make states stronger and would provide them with more powers to deal with terrorism,” Mr. Singh observed.
“I had talks with the CMs, especially of non-Congress states. I do not see any politics behind the non-Congress ruled CMs’ reservation on NCTC, anyone can read the bill...NIA was also constituted like this...I am hopeful there would be a consensus in the next meeting of Prime Minister with CMs on May 5,” he said.
The proposal to set up NCTC, the anti-terror agency has not found favour with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, as well as opposition ruled states like Tamil Nadu’s Jayalalithaa, Gujarat’s Narendra Modi and Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik as they say it goes against the concept of federalism.
The Central government would focus on modernisation of the police force and provide latest weapons and technology to curb crime including cyber crime, Singh said adding the Bureau of Police Research Development was working in close association with state governments in this regard.
When asked to comment on the role of CBI getting controversial, he said, “CBI does not fall in my purview... however, it is working nicely…I do not have further comment on it”.
About the crime rate rising in Madhya Pradesh compared to other states, he said, “We all want that the crime rate should go down...thus NCTC Act is required to deal with it...Centre is ready to promote the law and order enforcement agency in the state with latest technology”.
About 700 shooters representing 29 teams from different states took part in the shooting competition in which 17 gold and 14 each of silver and bronze medals were given away to winners, Special DG, BSF Arvind Ranjan said.