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'Decision on terrorism centre soon'

delhi Updated: Dec 01, 2010 00:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The government would decide on setting up the overarching National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) over the next month, home Minister P Chidambaram indicated on Tuesday.

Chidambaram had last year suggested creation of NCTC with powers to conduct intelligence gathering, operations to prevent terror strikes and investigation of terror offences.

This would have involved placing bodies such as the Research & Analysis Wing and the CBI under the NCTC' s oversight to the extent that they deal with terrorism, a suggestion that had met with resistance within the government.

But Chidambaram — who was brought in to overhaul the internal security establishment two years ago — made it clear that the NCTC plan hadn't been nixed.

The discussion paper on NCTC is ready and discussions have been held at various levels, Chidambaram said, pointing that he expected a decision on NCTC would be taken by this year-end.

The home minister said it would take another 12 months to set up the core of NCTC as compared to the 36 months that the United States took to set up its counter-terrorism centre.

As reported by HT earlier, the home minister also said the detailed project report of the National Intelligence Grid — a world-class national database to enable real-time access to information on all individuals — would be put up before the Cabinet Committee on Security shortly.

At his monthly press conference Chidambaram detailed the capacity additions made over the last two years.

Outlining some of the measures, the home minister said huge amounts had been provided to central police forces for upgradation of weapons and other equipment.

"There is no magic wand and capacity cannot be added instantly," he said.