NCTC rejig after presidential election

NCTC rejig after presidential election

Giving in to a stiff opposition from non-Congress ruled states, the government has decided to take NCTC, a proposed anti-terror hub, out of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and a new proposal regarding this will be taken up after the July 19 presidential election.

Home ministry sources said that no other change has been made to the anti-terror intelligence hub and another controversial clause regarding the powers of making arrest and search operations has been left untouched.

"The NCTC, as per the new guidelines, won't function under the IB," a home ministry official told IANS, adding that the amendment has been made in the wake of serious objection regarding this by some state governments.

The non-Congress ruled states have raised fears that the all-powerful National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) could reduce the role of police forces in countering terrorism and disturb the federal structure of the country.

The state governments had also objected to the clause of arrests, which has not been changed but sources said the new guidelines state that such powers would be used only in "exceptional cases" and state police chiefs would be kept in loop about such operations.

The new NCTC proposal is likely to come up in a meeting of cabinet committee on security after the presidential polls, the sources said.

The NCTC, which was to come up on March 1, has been stalemated as non-Congress states have opposed to Home Minister P. Chidambaram's project for a centralised agency to maintain data of terror modules, terrorists, their associates, friends, families and supporters. The agency has the legal authority to make arrests and conduct search operations in terror-related cases. It derives its powers from the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The home ministry has held at least two rounds of meetings with the state governments and their officials to resolve the differences without any breakthrough.

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