Counter-terror body violates states’ federal rights: Trinamool

February 17th, 2012 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) being set up by the central government as a powerful anti-terror agency was arbitrary and “an infringement on the rights of the states”, key ally Trinamool Congress said Friday.

“The central government has to take into confidence the state government in this regard because we have federal structure of government in our country,” union Minister of State for Tourism and TMC leader Sultan Ahmed said here.

Calling it an arbitrary step taken by the central government, Ahmed said: “It is an infringement on the rights of the states and an arbitrary step. The central government announced setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre without even consulting the state governments.”

According to Ahmed, whose party rules West Bengal, police and intelligence is a state subject and state governments have to be consulted in any decision related to security.

“The matter was not placed before the cabinet and being part of government in the centre doesn’t mean we will forget our state interest,” he added.

TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday opposing the setting up of NCTC. The letter was released by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday in Bhubaneswar.

Patnaik, who also wrote to the prime minister, said the provisions had draconian overtones.

Pointing out the order that empowers director of the centre as the designated authority, Patnaik stated: “This would entail officers of the NCTC having the power to arrest, search etc. without consulting the state governments.”

The central government Feb 6 said it would set up on March 1 a powerful anti-terror agency that will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats in India and will have legal authority to make arrests and conduct search operations.

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