States should have a uniform policy on law and order: Amit Shah 

Home Minister calls for centralisation of data on terror and other crimes; each State to have a National Investigation Agency office by 2024 with powers to confiscate property in terror cases

October 27, 2022 10:53 pm | Updated October 28, 2022 07:26 am IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a ‘Chintan Shivir’ of State Home Ministers at Surajkund in Faridabad on October 27, 2022.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a ‘Chintan Shivir’ of State Home Ministers at Surajkund in Faridabad on October 27, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that States should have a uniform law and order policy as certain crimes such as cross-border terrorism and cybercrimes transcend regional and international boundaries.

Mr. Shah said that by 2024, to counter terror activities, each State would have a National Investigation Agency (NIA) office as the agency had been given “extra territorial jurisdiction” and additional powers to confiscate property in terror-related cases. He called for centralisation of data on terror and other crimes and said that following the principle of “one data, one entry,” the NIA had been entrusted to maintain a national terror database, the Enforcement Directorate a dataset on financial crimes and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on narco crimes. The Minister urged the States to utilise the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) that was operational now. The NATGRID brings datasets of 11 agencies on a common platform. He said he had received thousands of suggestions on revamping the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and soon the amendments would be presented in Parliament.

Mr. Shah said, “the nature of crimes is changing, and they are becoming borderless, that is why all States will have to battle these by having a common strategy. To formulate and implement this under the spirit of ‘Cooperative Federalism,’ Cooperation, Coordination and Collaboration between the Centre and the States is required.”

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla said though law and order was a State subject, the Constitution provided that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) could intervene in matters concerning national security and the Ministry from time to time sent advisories to States.

Internal security issues

Mr. Shah was addressing State Home Ministers, Home Secretaries and Directors-General of Police and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) at the two-day Chintan Shivir (brainstorming session) on various internal security issues in Haryana’s Faridabad on the outskirts of Delhi.

Among the Opposition-ruled States, the conference was attended by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann. West Bengal was the only State to be represented by an Additional Director General of Police rank officer while Bihar sent DGP S.K Singhal to attend the meet. Tamil Nadu’s Law Minister S. Reghupathy and Chhattisgarh’s Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu were also present. Jharkhand was represented by its Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon.

Mr. Shah said some non-governmental organisations were involved in anti-national activities, religious conversion, political opposition to development projects or propaganda against policies of the government. He said the amendments to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in 2020 successfully prevented the misuse of foreign funding and effective monitoring became possible. The FCRA was a mandatory requirement to receive foreign funds.

‘One data, one entry’

He also emphasised that border States would have to make more coordinated efforts with the Central agencies and security forces to ensure border and coastal security. He said there was a need for optimal and rational utilisation of internal security resources to fight challenges before the nation. The Minister said the government was working on the principle of “one data, one entry”.

Comment | A more humane police force

He said after Article 370 of the Constitution ceased to operate in Jammu and Kashmir, a new beginning of peace and progress had begun there. Compared to 37 months before August 5, 2019, there had been a 34% reduction in terrorist incidents and 54% reduction in deaths amongst the security forces in the 37 months after August 5, 2019.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal said many people acquired Indian passport through fraudulent means and in a recent drive the State had identified 250 such people. “About 127 people who were staying illegally are yet to be arrested. I would urge that a mechanism should be brought in to verify such applications through not only facial recognition, biometric prints but also through voice recognition technology,” Mr. Manohar Lal said.

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