NCTC: Centre relents, anti-terror body to inform states before ops, will states budge?

Jayalalithaa-Mamata

In order to allay the apprehensions of some of the state governments, the Centre has decided to modify a few contentious provisions of the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). The new proposed NCTC is likely to be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday for its approval.

The Centre is learnt to have agreed to inform the chief of state police organisations before conducting any anti-terror operations in that state, sources said.

The Central government has proposed that the NCTC be kept out of the ambit of Intelligence Bureau and remain as an independent entity directly reporting to the Home Ministry, a change from its earlier stand.

The softening of the Centre's stand came as non-Congress chief ministers continue to oppose the earlier proposal which sought to empower NCTC officers to carry out search, seizure and arrests anywhere in the country without informing the state concerned. Under the revised proposal, the powers to carry out search, seizure and arrest will remain with the NCTC, but same will be done after taking the DGP and the state police concerned on board.

According to the earlier proposal, the Multi-Agency Centre and the operations wing of the IB were earmarked for carrying out anti-terror operations on their own and inform or hand over any detained suspect to the nearest police station as early as possible and the anti-terror hub would function under the IB.

These two issues of the NCTC were strongly opposed by chief ministers like Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), J Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu) and Naveen Patnaik (Orissa) on the grounds that it would infringe on the states' powers and hurt the country's federal structure. After the CCS approval, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will hold talks with all chief ministers who have been opposing the NCTC in its present form.

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