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Updated: March 5, 2012 20:09 IST

"Next step on NCTC after meeting States"

VInay Kumar
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Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the suspected LeT militants will be produced before courts in Delhi and other respective States. File photo
The Hindu Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the suspected LeT militants will be produced before courts in Delhi and other respective States. File photo

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said meeting of State police chiefs, heads of anti-terrorism squads, Chief Secretaries and Home Secretaries had been called to allay the apprehensions of the State governments over the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

“I am confident that this meeting will find a way forward. My note to the Chief Ministers sent earlier is also self-explanatory,” Mr. Chidambaram said at his monthly press conference here.

Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh has invited the Chief Secretaries, Directors-General of Police and Home Commissioners/Secretaries to discuss the scope and functions of the NCTC here on March 9.

Asked if he would meet the Chief Ministers to resolve differences over the proposed counter-terror hub, the Minister said that it would depend on the meeting convened by the Home Secretary. “Before taking the next step, let us go through this meeting,” he added.

Discussions

Under attack from non-Congress Chief Ministers who apprehend that the proposed NCTC would infringe on the powers and rights of the States, the Centre has put on hold the operationalisation of the counter-terror hub from March 1 and decided to hold discussions with the State governments.

In his letter to 10 Chief Ministers, Mr. Chidambaram had assured them that the “next steps” on NCTC would be taken only after the meeting of the top officials of the States.

Top Home Ministry officials are expected to allay the apprehensions. The States had said that empowering the NCTC with Section 43 (A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act would infringe on their powers. This section confers on an officer power to search and arrest.

Mr. Chidambaram said that if the NCTC had to conduct counter-terrorism operations, it had to be given “minimum powers” to arrest.

No legal wrangle

“This power is only while conducting counter-terror operations or foiling designs of terrorists to launch an attack. Even after arresting a suspect, the operations division of the NCTC will have to, without unnecessary delay, hand him over to the nearest police station. If you agree to give counter-terror capability to the NCTC, then its operations division cannot rely upon others to conduct search and make arrest. There is no legal difficulty in doing this and this has also been examined by the Intelligence Bureau where the NCTC is proposed to be located,” he told journalists.

Mr. Chidambaram said the powers conferred under Section 43(A) must be read with the duty under Section 43 (B) of the Act to produce the person or article without unnecessary delay before the nearest police station (which will be under the State government), and the Station House Officer will take further action in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In his letter to the Chief Ministers, Mr. Chidambaram said these were “bare minimum powers” necessary when engaged in counter-terrorism operations.

In an attached note, the Minister said that a body mandated to deal with counter-terrorism must have, in certain circumstances, an operational capability which was true of all counter-terrorism bodies in the world.

Asked how long it would take to make the NCTC operational, Mr. Chidambaram said with a smile: “I am a patient man. I have been showing patience since November 2009. I am willing to be patient for some more time, as long as it is necessary.”

LeT module busting

Referring to the busting of a Lashkar-e-Taiba module in the Capital by the Delhi police and the Central agencies, he said it underscored the need for the NCTC.

Complimenting the police and intelligence agencies on smashing the module, Mr. Chidambaram said that suspected terrorists had planned to detonate one or more bombs at a crowded place in Delhi.

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State chief ministers are concerned with their power not with the safety for the people. Terrorist strikes at will and it is a menace to all states. Appropriate law should be enacted to deal with and everybody's hope is that NCTC will become reality. Why those non- congress chief ministers are against it while the congress chief minister are mum on it. Should the people's safety be held in ransom by the so called party politics? Whatever the case may be it needs consensus before it becomes a bill keeping in mind the threat pose by terrorism and the necessity of citizens safety.

from:  Hejang Misao
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 16:27 IST

A commendable job by the Delhi Police. Only God knows when these
fanatics (terrorists) will understand that no problem can be solved
through violence.

from:  Akashdeep
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 22:09 IST

People have to take at face value the statements issued by the people in
power but should not believe if any one accuses them of corruption. We
have shrewd politicians in India but no stalwarts in whom the people can
place their faith.

from:  mvrangaraajan
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 21:31 IST

Excellent work of the police!!The HM's words that,"he cannot afford
to err even once,whilst the terrorists,even if they succeed once out
of several attempts,can claim credit for their (mis)deed"(not
exact),comes to memory.I only wish in their anxiety to impress the
media,they don't come out in the open,with all their ways/means of
detection,and consequently warn terrorist of future attempts.Let us
give credit to the Police agencies,even if they lie low,after this
success.

from:  K P Natarajan
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 21:30 IST

People ought to be thankful that these terrorists have been prevented
from committing a heinous crime. I applaud the Home Minister in his
efforts to prevent the tragedy also Delhi Police and other state police
for their commendable job. We need constant vigilance and educating
common public and the constable to inform the authorities of any
malicious activities in the neighborhood.

from:  Prem
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 20:26 IST

This looks more like a plot by the congress to gather support. Mr. Chidambaram has been in a very bad shape lately that he would definitely be looking at some avenue to get back public support.

from:  Subbu
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 20:05 IST

Good work by police...It will be useful as soon as we get complete information from them...

from:  srinivas
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 19:49 IST

Great work by our police forces. Thank you for your services

from:  Pravimal Abhishek
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 18:06 IST

Mr. Chidambaram has lost so much credibility that, its hard to accept if
his telling the truth or lying. Is this plot being orchestrated to
gather support of public opinion based on fear, for the push of NCTC? If
i am wrong then very good job done Team. But still Congress has become a
very difficult party to put faith on. God bless them in 2014.

from:  Ryan
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 18:02 IST

someone arrested on a terror plot when the NCTC had to be
stalled due to the opposition of the states, does anyone smell
conspiracy to push NCTC with arrest powers?

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 18:01 IST

Good work by delhi police, but what's the use of arresting them, god knows when they will be actually punished by law.

from:  Naveen
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 17:39 IST
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