‘NCTC tantamount to encroaching on state rights’

May 5th, 2012 - 6:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar Saturday said the present form of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) was not acceptable and it would be “tantamount to encroaching on the rights of the states”.

“Even the NCTC of USA which is model for the Indian NCTC does not have such legal powers of seizure, arrest etc,” Sarkar said at a chief ministers’ meeting here on the contentious issue.

Sarkar, also a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member, said: “I am constrained to express my anguish on the fact that in the recent past, the union home ministry has taken several steps which have serious implications for federalism in our country and which are equal to infringement upon the rights of the states.”

He said that notification of NCTC and the proposed amendment of RPF and BSF acts are some glaring examples of such infringement.

“The concern expressed by several state governments on the tendency of the central government to invade into the functional domain of state governments must be looked into seriously,” the Tripura chief minister observed.

“The central government has been showing clear lack of trust on the state governments and ability of the state police and its anti-terrorism wing to play the pivotal role in tackling the menace of terrorism. The notification for NCTC was issued without any consultation with states.”

Sarkar said: “Moreover, in the standard operating procedure (SOP) which has been formulated, there is no provision for joint operation by NCTC with state police or anti-terrorist squads.”

“If NCTC starts taking action suo-moto without even informing the state machinery, it would usurp authority of the states under whose functional jurisdiction public order and police comes.”

Direct interference of a central intelligence agency in operational matters will be highly undesirable.”

According to Sarkar, the NCTC can assist the state police by providing actionable intelligence. “The action on such intelligence inputs should be the job of the state police or its anti terrorist wing.”

Sarkar told the meeting that everybody is aware that the terrorism has been contained in Tripura to a large extent. “This has been possible largely on account of efforts of state police supported by central forces and most importantly by the peace-loving people of the state.”

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