NCTC need revived, Mamata gives her nod

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 05:54 hrs

Need for the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has once again been revived with the Hyderabad twin blasts killing 16 people and injuring over 100 last Thursday evening, said reports.

The demand for the coordination agency after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack was postponed as several state governments were against the move owing to the fact that they felt it would violate their autonomy, since NCTC was empowered to search and arrest any person without informing local administration. .

NCTC´s demand was promulgated by P Chidambaram during his term as Union Home Minister and is now carried forward by his successor Sushil Kumar Shinde, who is talking to the state governments to persuade them in giving a nod to the anti-terror hub formation.

According to reports, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was against the NCTC, has now realised the need for the same.

"She (Banerjee) is willing. But other chief ministers are opposing it. We have to hold talks with them also," Shinde was quoted as saying after a meeting with Banerjee on Monday.

However, the Ministry of Home Affairs Monday submitted a new proposal for the NCTC to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

In its modified version, the NCTC is made accountable to parliament, instead of reporting to the Intelligence Bureau, that works in secrecy.

The changed version also calls for search and arrest operations by the anti-terror agency only in extreme cases.

The main opposition to the formation of NCTC, the Bharatiya Janata Party has also softened its stand.

"Public order and police fall within the domain of the States. The fight against terrorism can and must co-exist with federalism... there could be no possible objection to a National Counter Terrorism Centre but its powers and jurisdictions must be within the constitutional framework," BJP leader Arun Jaitey was quoted as saying in his article.

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