NCTC should not be given unbridled powers, says Siddu

NCTC should not be given unbridled powers, says Siddu

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday led the pack of Congress Chief Ministers to express his reservations about certain clauses of the UPA Government’s ambitious National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

“Some safeguards are necessary before setting up NCTC so that it is not given unbridled powers to encroach upon states’ domain,” Siddaramaiah said in his speech during the conference of chief ministers on internal security convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs here.

“As envisaged by the Union government, the National Counter Terrorism Centre will have to involve multi-dimensional intelligence gathering and an action planning agency. Earlier efforts of containing terrorist activities by the existing organisation for intelligence networking have proved inadequate and ineffective,” he said.

His Maharashtra counterpart Prithviraj Chavan called for further examination of certain provisions of NCTC dealing with operations against terrorist groups in states and sought clarifications from the Centre. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi too expressed reservations over certain clauses.  

At the conference skipped by Jayalalitha and Mamata Banerjee, all non Congress-ruled chief ministers including Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik, attacked the proposal as infringing on the principles of federalism.

The Congress, however, tried to downplay over the apprehensions raised by its chief ministers of its ruled states. Party spokesperson Sandip Dikshit said it was “wrong to say that they were not on board” on the issue and were only raising some issues which the government will take care of.

While attacking the stand taken by Opposition-ruled states, he said: “Opposition to NCTC, to my mind, is mostly political. On the one hand, you said you are with the government on the fight against Naxals. On the other hand, you oppose this. To oppose NCTC for local politics is not good”.

Attacking the Centre, the BJP said the NCTC design was flawed as the operational role was given to an intelligence agency instead of leaving it to states. The role of NCTC should be limited to intelligence gathering to counter terrorism and states should be entrusted with the operational responsibilities, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters here.

‘Declare Karnataka Naxal hit’

With the left wing extremists spreading their networks in Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday demanded that the Centre declare the state Naxal hit.

Siddaramaiah said, by making the declaration, the Centre should extend assistance by funding and imparting special training to police, DHNS reports from New Delhi. 
Responding to the demand, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde reportedly said that he would discuss with the officials and inform the state in a couple of weeks.

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