NCTC will supplement counter-terror capabilities: Manmohan Singh

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May 5, 2012

New Delhi: Making a strong pitch for formation of an anti-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the establishment of NCTC is not a State versus Centre issue but will work as a vehicle of country's combined efforts to curb terrorism.

May 5, 2012

New Delhi: Making a strong pitch for formation of an anti-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the establishment of NCTC is not a State versus Centre issue but will work as a vehicle of country's combined efforts to curb terrorism.

Stressing that NCTC will supplement the counter-terrorism capabilities of the states and not supplant them, Singh asked the state governments to work with the Centre in dealing with terrorism.

"Terrorism is today one of the most potent threats to our national security. There can be no disagreement on putting an effective counter terrorism regime with efficient mechanism and response systems both at the national level and at the state level," the Prime Minister said in his inaugural speech at a conference of Chief Ministers called to discuss NCTC.

The meeting was called especially after 12 chief ministers opposed formation of NCTC.

Singh said, "Establishment of NCTC is not a state versus Centre issue and the primary purpose behind setting up the NCTC is to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country as the Intelligence Bureau has been doing so far.

"The NCTC should be a vehicle of our combined efforts to reach the shared goal of curbing terrorism an eradicating militancy," he said.

Singh said the antecedents of the NCTC derived from the Group of Ministers and the Administrative Reforms Commission, commencing from the lessons learnt in Kargil.

"It is our belief that the NCTC, in its designs and its operation aspects, will supplement the counter-terrorism capabilities of the states and not supplant them," he said.

He also drew attention of Chief Ministers towards the Standard operating Procedures circulated by Union Home Ministry and said the draft reflects the details provisions for Centre-State coordination in both the organizational set up of NCTC and in its proposed powers and functions.

"But for the NCTC to function smoothly and effectively, it is important that we have a fairly broad consensus on its powers and functions. We would like the state governments to be with us in this initiative, which we believe would strengthen our counter-terrorism efforts," Singh said, adding the Centre was open to suggestions of Chief Ministers.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram meanwhile called on the states to support the proposed NCTC, stressing there was a need to strengthen the fight against terrorism.

Chidambaram told the CM’s meet that a demand was made to strengthen the anti-terror operations post the ghastly Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008.

A call for setting up a unified agency against terror was made after 26/11 attacks, he noted.

Justifies the setting up of NCTC, the Home Minister said the agency will be an important pillar of security infrastructure.

Chidambaram stressed that counter-terrorism was a shared responsibility of the states and the Centre.

“Terrorists do not recognize boundaries between states,” he stressed.

He described joint efforts as the only practical and prudent way forward.

Chidambaram mentioned cyber crime to stress on the fact that terrorists act without boundaries.

Describing technology as key weapon against terror, the minister said state agencies will have to work with national agencies.

“Cyber crimes would in certain circumstances amount to terror threat,” he told the conference.

“The battle against terror can succeed if we fight it together,” he added.

Today’s meet comes amid an unending deadlock over the anti-terror intelligence hub.

The PM and the Home Minister, in the daylong meeting, will try to bring all chief ministers on board and address their fears that the NCTC, which has been put on hold, will erode powers of states.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is among the front-runners to oppose the anti-terror agency despite being a ruling partner of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), has stuck to her stand against NCTC's controversial powers of search, seizure and arrest.

The chief ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-ruled states have also raised their voice to thwart the Central government's move to create a one-stop anti-terror intelligence agency that has powers to conduct operations and make arrests anywhere in the country.


Courtesy: dnaindia