Union home minister P Chidambaram has said the government would review the two most contentious issues regarding the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) - its control by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the powers of arrest for officials of its operations wing.
In his concluding remarks at the chief ministers' conference on the NCTC, which were released on Sunday, Chidambaram clarified that the decision to keep the NCTC under the IB was based on the recommendation made by a group of ministers in 2001 (when the NDA was in power) which named the IB as the country's nodal counter-terrorism agency.
“When I stood at this very podium in December 2009, I did not propose that the NCTC should be located in the IB. In fact, the new security architecture was certainly more ambitious but did not propose that it should be located in the IB,” Chidambaram said.
The minister said at the conference: “A number of speakers who pointed out that we must have an NCTC, asked why should it be located in the IB? Certainly this matter deserves re-examination and we will certainly re-examine it.”
On the powers of arrest for officials of the NCTC’s operations wing, Chidambaram said only under exceptional circumstances would these powers be exercised.