States have their way; anti-terror centre to function under IB | delhi | Hindustan Times
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States have their way; anti-terror centre to function under IB

delhi Updated: Mar 13, 2013 01:56 IST
Shishir Gupta

The government has decided that the National Counter-Terrorism Centre will function under the Intelligence Bureau without search, seizure and arrest powers as demanded by state governments.

Top government sources said the salient features of the proposed NCTC will be shared with the states and may be discussed with the chief ministers during a conference on Centre-State relations and Administrative Reforms Commission scheduled in Delhi on April 15, 2013.

The decision to house NCTC within IB was taken following concerns expressed by intelligence agency chiefs on keeping the NCTC as an independent entity within the home ministry, while doing the same counter-terrorism work as the Bureau.

The move will make the proposed counter terrorism body an expansion of the Multi-Agency Center (MAC) having a similar brief of collating, analysing and disseminating intelligence to state governments. The MAC was strengthened post 26/11 Mumbai attacks and is presently headed by a joint director.

Sources said the new NCTC will be headed by an officer of the rank of special director or additional director of the IB and simultaneously report to Director, Intelligence Bureau and the home ministry.

Another big change will be to deny NCTC the powers for search, seizure or arrest; thereby agreeing to a major demand made by the state governments.

According to sources though a section of the UPA wanted the counter-terror body to have these powers, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde watered it down.

Notably, P Chidambaram in 2009 had recommended that NCTC be empowered to carry out arrests sparking a centre versus state debate.