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Home Secretary says almost all states agree on need for an effective NCTC

New Delhi, Mon, 12 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 12 (ANI): Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh, who chaired the meeting of Chief Secretaries/Director Generals of Police/Inspector Generals of states and Union Territories here on Monday, has stated that the government has addressed the concerns pertaining to the setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) following which there has been a consensus on the need to have an effective anti-terrorism mechanism.


Singh said there was a consensus that a body like NCTC is required.


"There was a consensus that a body like NCTC is required. There was a general agreement that there is need for coordination in counter-terrorism activities. They had some issues pertaining to operational aspects, especially about coordination in operations. We have addressed those concerns, we have explained to them. And we said that we will also incorporate this in our SOP (standard operations procedure) so that it is clear how it will be," said Singh.


"The main concern was about the operations being conducted without involving the states. We told them that generally it is not the case. We always involve the states. So, by and large we said that would be the standard of procedure, which we will come out with," he added.


Singh further informed that the concerns with regard to the power to arrest of the NCTC have also been cleared.


"The seconds thing was that they had some issues about this power to arrest. So, we pointed out that actually after arrest, a person is to be handed over to the police station and the investigation and the prosecution will be done by the state police," he said.


The primary concern expressed by the states were in the modalities and details of operational coordination between the states and NCTC. The need to make the states an effective stakeholder in all aspects of counter-terrorism domain and in the proposed NCTC format was a general view expressed by most States/UTs.


The need to rework the NCTC order to amplify the powers/functions/duties of the Standing Council, the specificity of circumstances in which Sec 43A of UAPA powers can be invoked, the need to ensure that NCTC is also equally obliged to respond to state governments' requests and the need to provide resources to upgrade state capabilities were some of the key points that came up during the meeting.


The Union Home Secretary thanked the States for their constructive cooperation and emphasized that the nature of terror threats faced by India needs an effective and co-ordinated response of the Centre and States- for which NCTC would be a crucial instrument.


States were assured that their concerns have been noted and would be suitably addressed.


The various aspects of modernization of Police Forces were reviewed and suggestions for faster and more effective utilization of the funds were discussed.


The main task of the NCTC would be to ensure that a 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, would be 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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