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Updated: February 22, 2012 01:00 IST

States have been represented in NCTC, says Sibal

Atiq Khan
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Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal:
The Hindu Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal: "If there is any misgivings (on the National Counter-Terrorism Centre), the Centre will remove it through dialogue". File photo: V.V. Krishnan

We will clear their misconceptions on the issue, he says

As the chorus against the proposal to set up a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) grew louder with 13 States opposing the move, the Centre has said it is ready for a dialogue to remove the concerns and misgivings. “If States have any concerns, the Central government is willing to have a dialogue,” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Tuesday.

Stating that the States had been represented in the NCTC, Mr. Sibal said the central council consisted of a director, three joint directors and heads of anti-terrorist organisations of States. The powers given to the NCTC for counter-terrorism were earlier vested with the Centre.

Explaining the rationale behind setting up the NCTC, Mr. Sibal said that after the Kargil war, the Group of Ministers had recommended the strengthening of the intelligence system and thereafter, the Inter-State Intelligence Support System (ISISS) was set up. Following the recommendation of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), it was converted into the NCTC. “The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act [UAPA], 1967 was amended in 2004, whereby power for counter-terrorism was given to an officer of the Central government not below the rank of joint secretary, who was the designated authority, and in the States, not below the rank of secretary,” the Minister told journalists at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters here.

The UAPA was further amended in 2008 and under Section 43 (A), powers for counter-terrorism operations were transferred to the NCTC. “The power with NCTC was already there,” Mr. Sibal added.

The Centre's move hit a road block after Chief Ministers of 13 States, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is an ally of the UPA government, voiced their opposition to the proposal as they feared that the Union government was trying to usurp their powers. Asked why Ms. Banerjee was opposing the move, Mr. Sibal said “even I knew nothing about it [the NCTC] and came to know only after studying the proposal.”

AMU issue

On the Aligarh Muslim University banning the entry of women undergraduates to the institution's Central Library, he said that at a recent meeting he had given directions that it was unfair to bar the entry of women undergraduates.

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UPA is used to putting the cart before the horse. Can't anything concerned with NCTC be discussed with the states before putting the proposal?. Should there be dialogues only when you feel the heat?

from:  P.S.ARUNACHALAM
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 11:15 IST

what a suggestion given to AMU that it is "UNFAIR" to bar women undergraduates from entering university central library. A noted lawyer like Mr. Kapil Sibal simply forgot that it is not only unfair but grossly illegal and unconstitutional to bar anybody based on caste, creed, gender etc. this way. It is gross violation of our constitution and Mr. Kapil Sibbal,being supreme court lawyer as well as education minister, should have set example before others by taking strict action against all those responsible people in this regard but instead he chose to term it as just unfair!!! This approach is highly divisive, immoral and will disintegrate the whole education system and society at large.

from:  dhiraj kumar garg
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 01:29 IST

I think it is the need of present scenario when the whole country has witnessed the terror attack and threat. We had also witnessed the limitation to prevent such activity and and after that slow pace of action and investigation. The reason behind it seems old law ,old training spadetre, old equipment and technology and more than that lack of coordination between centre and state. Now even when the terrorists are equipped with highend weapons, technologies and shows coordinated action then to combat with them the proposal of specialised body like NCTC must be warmly welcomed by the states as well as public and if there is any doubt or problem about Nctc's powers, functions and structure which could affect the union structure, should be sort out by group talk but opposing it without thinking is not the solution.

from:  Saurabh firmal
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 20:41 IST

Western military organizations have their own offensive and defensive counter intelligent agencies dealing with external and internal affairs. The law enforcement bodies also have their own counter intelligence units under their aegis or have separate intelligence units like defensive counter intelligence, security, law enforcement and offensive counter intelligence working in a coordinated networking way. In Britain MI5 which is a secret service agency with no powers of policing works along with enforcement units in charge of law and order.How the various security models in different democracies that deal with intelligence regarding investigation and counter terrorism work in complementary and inter active manner through the process of synergy has to be looked into in order to gain insights in the way it could be applied in a federal state with parliamentary system of democracy like ours.

from:  vyjayanthi
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 20:07 IST

Question here is who is going to appoint director's and joint directors of NCTC, and also who is going to be the heads of the anti-terrorist organisations of each state, directors and joint directors will be under pressure (political) just like in CBI and NIA

from:  ravindra biradar
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 18:52 IST

The state governments are concerned about the fact that IB which is being constantly misused for political reasons has been given the powers of arrest,search and detain through NCTC and the setting up of inter-state intell. will make it mandatory for the states to give info.to NCTC. The center should address the concerns of the states through the process of dialogue by taking them into confidence and arrive at a consensus at the earliest on such a sensitive matter. The states should also try to face the fact that terror knows no boundaries and that the center has powers through constitutional provisions to safeguard the country against all kinds of terrorism, both external and internal. The 3units of NCTC,namely Gathering of intell. Analyzing and Ops each headed by a joint-director along with the dir. of IB will integrate the process of intelligence and coordinating with other central and state agencies will make the mechanism of counter-terrorism functional and effective.

from:  vyjayanthi
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 18:10 IST

The dialogue should have been thought of prior to any decision making!

from:  Gnanam
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 18:02 IST

Isn't Mr. Kapil Sibal famous for finding out that there was no loss to the exchequer on the dubious sale of the 2G spectrum? Will he know if one of our cities goes missing?

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 16:36 IST

Look at the sorry state of affairs the Congress has put itself in...lack of trust and faith in the government has reached a crescendo...this might pan out to be a good idea but nobody has faith in the ruling coterie...Mamta Banerjee is known for her innuendos but this is just ridiculous...throwing all the proposals and plans out the window...there's no one to blame but the guv....

from:  Ayan
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 15:53 IST

His Excellency, Mr. Kapil Sibal's opinion to have a dialogue is a wonderful idea. National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is the need of nation. The government should invite NGOs to participate in NCTC. So, it will be more effective.

from:  Mohsin Raza Khan
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 15:24 IST

The central government under present leadership has a habit of first imposing a decision it has taken and then inviting the stakeholders for discussion when they raise their concerns. Similar thing happened with FDI. It's high time they started learning from their mistakes.

from:  Venkatesh Patil
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 15:23 IST

chidambaram lost credibility
manmohan is mute
what choice did they have ?

from:  Venkatesh yerneni
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 14:44 IST

Since when did Kapil Sibal become the Congress spokesman? Is the
Congress so afraid of its own dealings that it has given this lawyer the
mandate of press briefings?

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 14:07 IST
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