Chief Minister voices concern over counter-terrorism centre

Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has once again spoken against the National Counter Terrorism Centre of the Union government.

In his address at the meeting of Chief Ministers on internal security presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Monday, Mr. Gowda said: “I wish this meeting was held before the Union government decided to constitute the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). While there are many subjects to be discussed in this meeting, I would like to delve first of all on the NCTC issue since it has created huge difference of opinion between the Centre and the States on the perception and the need for it”.

The Chief Minister said, “It appears that the NCTC is modelled on the United States although the federal model in the U.S. and in India are not identical. In the field of criminal justice system, India does not have the same federal crimes framework which the United States has, wherein the Federal police (namely the FBI) can directly take cognisance of crime, search, seize and arrest federal criminals. Here, the police and law and order are State subjects under our Constitution. Any direct entry into those areas by the Union government through such devices as NCTC would encroach into the very federal arrangements and erode the powers of the States”.

With reference to the naxalism in the State, Mr. Gowda said: “We need the support of the Centre in strengthening the police manpower by way of training, additional funding and provision for state-of-the-art firearms. Unfortunately,. so far we have not been given any such assistance by the Union government. I, request the Prime Minister to assist Karnataka through CRPF's COBRA unit in training the anti-naxalite unit staff of Karnataka Police and also to extend additional funding and supply of appropriate arms to this unit”.

For the newly constituted coastal police in the State, the Chief Minister said the Centre was yet to supply 12 boats to these new police stations. “We will soon recruit and post forces to the new coastal police stations. Sites for new coastal police stations have been acquired, and estimates are approved and the work on the construction of Coastal Police Station buildings will commence as soon as the funds are received from the Union government”.

Mr. Gowda, on the supply of firearms to the State police said, a request has been made to the Union Home Minister to ensure supply of weapons through the Ordnance Factories which have not supplied the specified arms worth Rs. 4 crore to the Karnataka Police over the last three years. If this money is made over to the State Government and necessary approvals given, Karnataka could import the requisite firearms from other countries.

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