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'All parties in favour of strong anti-terror measures must back NCTC': Congress

Chennai , Wed, 22 Feb 2012 ANI

Chennai, Feb 22 (ANI): Amid stiff opposition to the Centre's creation of an anti-terror body, the ruling Congress Party on Wednesday said there is no intention to trespass or trench upon state powers, and added that all parties in favour of strong anti-terror measures must support the formation of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).


"There is no intention to trespass or trench upon state powers. No new law is being made, these were recommendations only to unify, consolidate and centralize the fight against terror. All those parties, who speak up for national interest and for strong anti-terror measures must support this measure," said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.


Singhvi said the UPA Government is always open to consultation on the issue.


"Needless to add any further consultation is always open, I don't think the Central Government has ever suggested that they are not open to consultation. But let us not try to throw to politicize this, let us not try to obstruct this or dilute it or weaker it," he added.


The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, had on Tuesday assured that the Centre has no intention of encroaching on the jurisdiction of states in operationalising the NCTC.


"The primary purpose of the NCTC is to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country, as the IB has been doing so far. It is for this reason that the NCTC has been located within the IB and not as a separate organisation," said Dr. Singh in identical letters to the seven chief ministers, who had earlier written to him.


Several state governments, including the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which is the second largest in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government (19 Members of Parliament), joined the chorus against what is being seen as an attempt to infringe upon state's rights.


The main task of the NCTC would be to ensure that the wide variety of security organizations in the country work in tandem, at least on issues related to terrorism.


It will also have the power to seek information, including documents, reports, transcripts, and cyber information from any agency, including from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency, National Technical Research Organization, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and all seven central armed police forces including the National Security Guard (NSG).


The body, which will function under the Intelligence Bureau, has been given its own operational wing with powers to arrest and conduct searches under Section 43A of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. (ANI)


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