Another stillborn plan
With home minister Sushilkumar Shinde saying that the government will not table a Bill on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Parliament for now it is almost certain that it is curtains for P Chidambaram’s proposal for an integrated counter-terrorism centre.india Updated: Jun 11, 2013 02:49 IST
With home minister Sushilkumar Shinde saying that the government will not table a Bill on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Parliament for now it is almost certain that it is curtains for P Chidambaram’s proposal for an integrated counter-terrorism centre.
What seems to have turned the tide against the NCTC was the opposition from Congress chief ministers. The June 5 chief minister’s meeting on internal security highlighted that when it comes to internal security there is no cohesion between the Centre and states.
The Mumbai 26/11 attacks and the many other incidents that followed exposed, beyond doubt, the gaping holes in India’s security network.
With the May 25 Maoist attack still fresh in the mind it was hoped that the states, looking beyond federalist confines, would come together to address some of the pressing internal security problems India is facing today.
Law and order is a state subject and state governments fear that the NCTC will give the Centre powers to override the current autonomy they enjoy.
The Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), which was praised by Shinde at the June 5 meeting, hasn’t become fully operational. The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) is yet to take off.
More than a dozen chief ministers expressed their reservations and even after the government proposed a watered-down NCTC there does not seem to be many takers. These also included Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah.
In the territorial wrangles between different states and the Centre, the point politicians miss is that extremist forces do not factor in state boundaries — they use it to their advantage, and make the most of inconclusive government policies.
For any tangible progress to be made, a co-ordinated approach is required in which all states are equal stakeholders. The coordination among agencies will have to be in tandem with more intelligence gathering at the ground level.
Even for a proposal like the NCTC to make a difference, there is a need to get more forces that can gather information on the ground level.
Unless such progress is made, for which greater political will is required from all parties, the government will not be able to protect its citizens.