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Needed a federal investigating agency: Cong

With a series of fresh blasts in Gujarat and B'lore, Congress revived the idea of a federal investigating agency and maintained that its govt has retained all important elements of POTA to fight terror.

delhi Updated: Jul 28, 2008 20:03 IST

With a series of fresh blasts in Gujarat and Karnataka, Congress on Monday revived the idea of a federal investigating agency and maintained that its government has retained all important elements of POTA to fight terror.

The party also sought to dismiss suggestions for the resignation of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil in the wake of the blasts.

"A central agency should be formed to fight terrorists.. Several countries in the world have specialised units to fight the terrorists," Congress Spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters here.

Seeking to allay the opposition charges that the government was soft on terror, Tewari said: "When POTA was repealed, 25 of its substantive provisions were incorporated in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Moreover, the Money Laundering Act was brought in to check the financial module of the terrorists."

He said the government had put forward the proposition to have a federal agency in the meeting of the chief ministers but a consensus could not be arrived at.

Tewari refuted charges that the demand for a federal agency was merely to counter the BJP's demand for reintroduction of POTA.

"We have merely done away with those provisions of POTA which infringed on the civil liberties of the people," he said.