New Delhi, Mar 19 (ANI): Asserting that tackling terrorism is the biggest challenge before the nation, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Monday said the Central Government is committed to creating secure conditions for citizens, and said the establishment of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is an important step in that direction.
"Dealing with terrorism constitutes a big challenge and development of states infested with extremism is an absolute necessity if we are to achieve our growth objectives. The government is committed to creating secure conditions for its citizens and NCTC is an important step in that direction," Singh told the Lok Sabha while replying to President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil's address to a joint session of parliament last week.
He further revealed that adequate consultations would take place on the NCTC before the next meeting of chief ministers on April 16.
"The question of setting up NCTC has been discussed at various forums. A number of chief ministers have expressed their concerns, and, I have replied, saying there will be consultations. Through discussion and dialogue, differences can be narrowed down and a consensus arrived at," Singh added.
Several state governments, including the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, have opposed the establishment of the NCTC on grounds that it would hurt the country's federal structure.
Once set up, the main responsibility of the NCTC would be to ensure that a wide variety of security organisations 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), the National Investigation Agency, the National Technical Research Organization, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and all seven central armed police forces, including the National Security Guard (NSG).
The body, which would function under the Intelligence Bureau, would be 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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