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National Counter Terrorism Centre will miss its launch on March 1st

NEW DELHI: The National Counter Terrorism Centre(NCTC) will miss its scheduled launch on March 1 as the home ministry’s consultations with the states, who have objected to its “anti-federal” provisions , are expected only on March 10.

The anti-terror body is being put on hold in the wake of stiff opposition from nearly a dozen chief ministers, including UPA ally Mamata Banerjee.

Sources in the home ministry confirmed that the appointment of the NCTC director will not be notified before the chief secretaries and DGPs of the states are heard by the Centre. This meeting, to be convened by Union home secretary RK Singh, is likely to be scheduled immediately after Holi, which falls on March 8.

According to an MHA official, all state chief secretaries and DGPs will be called on March 10 to air the views of the states on the February 3 NCTC order.

The delay in operationalisation of the anti-terror body is hardly surprising as West Bengal chief ministerMamata Banerjee had declared soon after meeting the prime minister here last week that he had assured her that the anti-terror body would be on hold until the states’ concerns on its powers and jurisdiction are resolved.

The prime minister had last week replied to the seven chief ministers who wrote to him against the NCTC order, assuring them that the states’ views will be heard.

“I have noted your concerns about the manner in which NCTC will function and am asking the home minister to address them suitably in consultation with chief ministers ,” Singh said in separate letters to Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik , West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar.

Thereafter, home minister P Chidambaram too wrote to 10 chief ministers , explaining the rationale behind setting up NCTC and justifying its powers of arrest and search as “the bare minimum powers” needed to give the anti-terror body an operational capability .

Insisting that countering terrorism was a “shared responsibility” of the Centre and states, the home minister requested the chief ministers to keep the matter of national importance “above parties and politics” .

He also assured them that the home secretary would shortly convene a meeting with DGPs and heads of antiterrorist wings of the state government “to discuss in detail the scope and functions of NCTC” .

In a three-page note appended to his letter and detailing NCTC’s genesis, objectives, structures and powers, the home minister attempted to allay the negative perceptions among states regarding its impact on federalism and the “hurried” manner in which it the anti-terror body was being set up

Short URL: http://www.cckerala.com/?p=4591

Posted by on Feb 28 2012. Filed under Indian News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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