Vishwa Hindu Parishad international general secretary Pravin Togadia on Wednesday said the newly formed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) by the central government an “eyewash” and attempt to "grab” powers enjoyed by the state governments.
Talking to reporters in Bhubaneshwar, Togadia asked: “If the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was so sincere about fighting terror, why it removed Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), conferred Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan, shared power with a government which withdrew special power to the army which is combating terror in Jammu and Kashmir?”
Togadia said the central government was not at all serious about countering terror and only wanted to usurp the law and order powers of the states. If the central government is serious about countering terrorism, it should first show its sincerity by coming out with a law stronger than POTA, he said.
“Let the central government first protect the police and army personnel who are fighting against terror,” Togadia said, demanding that the NCTC in its present form, the “brain child” of union home minister P Chidambaram, be withdrawn immediately.
NCTC, constituted in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), is India’s first dedicated body to prevent terrorist strikes and will be operational from March 1 with powers to “control and coordinate” all counter-terrorism measures in the country. NCTC will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats in India and need not seek permission from state governments before launching any operation.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik first opposed the special powers to NCTC on February 13. He was later joined by other chief ministers like West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerji, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and chief ministers of BJP ruled states.
Bowing to the pressure from the state governments, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday wrote letters to seven chief ministers assuring them that they would be consulted before NCTC became operational.
Odisha CM on PM’S reply on NCTC
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said the Prime Minister in his reply had made it clear that the concerns raised by the chief ministers of different states would be addressed. “The Prime Minister has asked the union home minister to consult the chief ministes. So let’s wait for the next step, the next response of the central government, of the union home minister of the Delhi durbar,” Patnaik told reporters.