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Updated: March 12, 2012 20:21 IST

States want to be effective stakeholders in counter-terrorism domain

Vinay Kumar
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Narendra Modi (top), Nitish Kumar (centre) and Raman Singh (bottom), Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Bihar and Chhattisgarh respectively. File photo
The Hindu
Narendra Modi (top), Nitish Kumar (centre) and Raman Singh (bottom), Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Bihar and Chhattisgarh respectively. File photo

While agreeing in principle on the need to have an effective anti-terrorism mechanism on the lines of the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), almost all States on Monday emphasised the need to make them an "effective stakeholder" in all aspects of counter-terrorism domain.

At a day-long meeting of the State police chiefs, Chief Secretaries and Home Secretaries, presided over by Union Home Secretary R. K. Singh, top officials expressed wanted more consultations with the State governments and reworking of modalities before making the counter-terror hub operational.

While Congress-ruled States were in agreement with the NCTC, others voiced their opposition to the "operations division" of the NCTC which has been empowered to carry out searches and arrests, informed sources said.

Some of the key points that came up for discussion included reworking the NCTC order to amplify the powers, functions and duties of the proposed Standing Council; specific circumstances in which Section 43A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act powers can be invoked; and to ensure that NCTC is also equally obliged to respond to State government’s requests, official sources said.

Non-Congress-ruled States like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura opposed the creation of NCTC on the ground that it has unbridled powers over the State police. Top police officials of these States expressed their reservations over the "controlling and unilateral nature" of the NCTC. They termed it as "unacceptable and unfair."

They pointed out that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) was already performing the job and felt that there was no need to give power of arrest to the operations division of the NCTC.

While some States wanted the Centre to learn from their experience of tackling terrorism, others emphasised the need for better coordination in counter-terror operations and preferred joint operations instead of "unilateral" operations by the proposed counter-terrorism agency.

Officials from U.P. and Uttarakhand where new governments are yet to be formed after assembly elections did not express any views, saying these would be conveyed to the Home Ministry later. Interestingly, BJP-ruled Karnataka’s police representative made out a strong case for having a tough, counter-terror hub like the planned NCTC, while senior officials from the State were cautious in toeing the government line.

While thanking the States for their constructive cooperation, Union Home Secretary Mr. Singh emphasized that the nature of terror threats faced by India needs an effective and coordinated response of the Centre and the States. "For this purpose NCTC will be a crucial instrument," he said while assured States that their concerns have been noted and would be suitably addressed.

Stung by sharp criticism of the NCTC from non-Congress Chief Ministers, the Centre had put on hold the operationalisation of the NCTC from March 1, preferring to discuss the issue with the State governments. Non-Congress Chief Ministers have opposed the creation of the NCTC, maintaining that it would impinge on the principle of federalism and encroach upon their turf.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa have asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene a meeting of chief ministers to discuss the issue. Mr. Patnaik asked the Prime Minister to first discuss the issue with the Chief Ministers before operationalising the agency. He said the NCTC in its present form would erode the States' powers and this was not acceptable.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also expressed similar concerns.

Seeking to allay their apprehensions, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had written to 10 non-Congress chief ministers, assuring them that the "next steps" on the NCTC would be taken only after consulting the states.

In his letter, Mr. Chidambaram had said the powers conferred under Section 43 (A) of the Act must be read with the duty under Section 43 (B) to produce the person or article without unnecessary delay before the nearest police station (which will be under the state government).

The Centre is also likely to convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers on internal security on April 16 to discuss the concerns of the State governments on the proposed NCTC.

More In: National | News | States

@manoharan, the answer to your doubt lies in the question you've
raised. (Read again; The preamble to the Constitution of India states
that India is a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULCAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.It
nowhere declares it is federal in structure)

The very word 'republic' denotes here distribution of power. The
division of power in a sovereign republic is central to the idea of
separation of authorities. That is to distribute administration away
from the executive branch unlike dictatorial system governments
function in some parts of the world. In short it's called federal
system of governance.

from:  GKannuchamy
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 01:28 IST

Only if graft and terror were not used as a tool to victimize political opposition all these discussions about Lok Pal and NCTC would not be there. There is no legal substitute to honesty and integrity.

from:  Dr Basheer A Khan
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 00:40 IST

It is more like a policy paralysis for congress led UPA govt.
In view of 2014 election every single party is trying to corner out
congress party.I am not a big supporter of UPA policy as they mostly
deal with Populist policy and framework.
What my main emphasis is national security and freedom to sustain in
citizen rights.It is a simple case of ignorance where they are just
neglecting opinion of other affected parties to decide unilaterally,
which is definitely not a good Sign for Democracy.
That is why we have a Anna Hazare,Baba Ramdev today as govt is running
away from Democracy to bring a Monarch of Gandhi(more precisely Nehru
Dynasty)a reaemblance to diktat which Indira ji also tried once

from:  nitin aggarwal
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 21:52 IST

Political wrangle on the issue of citizens' life. Here are some points that need to be asked:
1. The chief ministers who raised voice against NCTC are only from non-congress, why the lives of the citizens are politicized? Their genuineness is doubted.
2. Which one should come first: Citizens' protection or retaining power?
3. Why the congress CMs maintain their silence, was it because NCTC will be helpful or because of being a political hand-peck?
The life of the people safety should not be taken as secondary but top priority should be accorded in all circumstances. The problem in India is the hapless and helpless citizens are held ransom to the political intrigue.

from:  Hejang Misao
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 17:42 IST

Yes, NCTC for a change will eat into state's police powers and stop them
executing extra-judicial killings in the name of controlling crimes.

from:  GK
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 17:26 IST

Whatever good intentions this govt has behind NCTC but all those go in vain because of their track record of using anti-corruption agency, anti-terror agency for their gain and face saving activities, dethroning constitutional agency in much planned way....All these things have made Congress most unreliable today.

from:  vineet kumar singh
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 17:22 IST

The decisions and administrative actions of the Home Minister of India has to strictly remain within the ambit of the Constitution of the country which admits of only a federal system of administering the country which is a federation of various States and Union Territories. The Home Minister of India is expected to be only an enabler for State governments in discharging their internal security responsibilities.Formation of the NCTC and its proposed responsibilities in various States goes against the principle of fderalism envisaged by the constitution.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 17:03 IST

Modi is a shame on India's cultural diversity and democracy. Its him who ordered ethnic cleansing of Muslims during the infamous riots in 2002. There remains still the clear proof against him being a mass murderer and a criminal. The judiciary and bureacracy has been compromised ever since he came to power in Gujarat.

What face and right he has to comment of NCTC? Why the courts have become so helpless and the STF a sitting duck, when hundreds of witnesses testified against Modi and with credible evidences. Is the judiciary has come to become non existent in India?

from:  Syed Kabeer Ahmed
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 15:37 IST

Adding another leg to the already existing 2 legs wont make u run
faster. If anything it will only act to destabilise you.
My point being, that addition of NCTC is an eye-wash simply because
instead of improving the already present infrastructure , you want to
add another parallel layer of people who will be doing the same job
as the RAW,NIA and Police in fighting terrorism. Blindly following
the banner of the NCTC on the basis of simply fighting terror would
just make the confusion more confounded.
Further aim to improve the efficiency and increase the scope the
already present bodies and there wont be a need of such things such
as NCTC.

from:  Prakhar Sharma
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 15:08 IST

The preamble to the Constitution of India states that India is a
SOVERIGN SOCIALIST SECULCAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.It nowhere declares it
is federal in structure.The three lists enshrined in the Constitution
is for efficient administration of the territory of India to the good
of the Indians at large.
The word "federal' was not dared to be mentioned when there were
single party rule at the centre.Minority Government at the Centre had
emboldened the regional satraps to raise the issue of federalism.
India need a single party rule at the centre to put an end to the
demand for 'federalism"

from:  manoharan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 15:00 IST

NCTC is required as an independent body answerable to the parliament
not as a part of IB or other secretive organisations. IB and R&AW
would have more credibility if they are made autonomous and answerable
to the parliament. It is a open secret that these organisations are
being used against political opponents. Who would know what could
happen when they are given powers of arrest? Someday, some renowned
ministers would say that a person critical of a ruling politician is a
terrorists and this critics are "blasphemous". Since, these powers of
arrest could easily misused, we citizens could lose our freedom of
expression and soon India would become an authoritarian state...

Do we need that?

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:42 IST

Leaders should stop fighting over the prerogatives or start exploring
ways to ensure internal security sincerely. What is necessity between
center and the state at the moment is an objective evaluation of how
well we are prepared to snub terror activities in our country. There is
need for sanity and cooperation on this important issue rather than
playing a tug of war.

from:  Pravimal Abhishek
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:35 IST

It is not surprising Leaders who propogate hate and carry pogrom on the innocent masses refusing to implement NCTC.

from:  Rizwan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:45 IST
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