National Conference has reservations on NCTC

Congress ally National Conference on Saturday articulated its reservations over the Centre`s NCTC.

New Delhi: Congress ally National Conference on Saturday articulated its reservations over the Centre`s NCTC stating the present form makes it as stringent as the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

Turning down the proposal in a polite manner, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also pointed out that the issues raised during the meeting of various state officials chaired by Union Home Secretary R K Singh last month have not been incorporated in the new draft circulated by the Centre.

Omar said the proposal in the NCTC for handing over the arrested persons and seized material to the nearest police station "as soon as possible" makes it "almost as stringent as the existing provision available under AFSPA."

"This is likely to have far reaching consequences in our state which is politically sensitive. We have been advocating for revocation of AFSPA and it has been welcomed by all shades of people in the state", he said.

Therefore, "mandating the NCTC with such powers may run counter to our efforts towards the removal of AFSPA at least from certain areas, and can generate avoidable criticism", Abdullah said.

Speaking at the Chief Ministers Conference chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Omar suggested that the NCTC should assume the role of a coordinating agency, instead of controlling or prescribing counter terrorism priorities for each stakeholder.

The power of arrest and search should remain with the local police only, the chief minister said.

"The power of arrest and search to be conducted independently without the state police being a part of the exercise may result in overlapping of responsibilities of the law enforcing agencies and can have local operational sensitivities especially, in the context of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir", he said.


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