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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Home Minister, PM's office assure states on NCTC

Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 07, 2013
First Published: 13:45 IST(7/1/2013) | Last Updated: 15:22 IST(7/1/2013)

The Home Ministry's attempt to revive the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has hit a road block with both Home Minister Sushil K Shinde and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) assuring the states concerned and the Intelligence Bureau brass against setting up of a new counter-terrorism body.

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had cautioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against pushing the NCTC "through the back door" during the National Development Council (NDC) last week of December 2012.

Top government sources said after the Intelligence Bureau opposed setting up of the NCTC with powers to search, seizure and arrest in the states, Home Minister Shinde and top PMO officials assured the internal security agency that such a move was not on the cards. The assurance came even as Home Secretary R K Singh circulated a Cabinet Note on the issue proposing NCTC outside the IB with State Support Intelligence Teams.

Sources said that top IB officials explained to Shinde and the PMO that Home Ministry's job was to formulate policy and not conduct counter-terrorist operations. It was also pointed out to them that states would be totally opposed to NCTC directly intervention as each of them had their own anti-terrorist squads within the police set-up. Already, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and NDA ruled states have vehemently opposed the NCTC.

According to the Cabinet note, the proposed NCTC was to be within the Home Ministry headed by a Special Secretary/Director General of Police with a fixed two year tenure.

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