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NCTC proposal recalled after change of guard in Home Ministry

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - 19:29

New Delhi: The revised plan for controversial National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has been recalled from the Cabinet Secretariat after Sushilkumar Shinde took charge as Home Minister for a thorough review by him.

Facing strong opposition from several chief ministers to the earlier proposal of NCTC, the Home Ministry prepared a revised plan for implementing the project and sent it to the Cabinet Secretariat for presentation before the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the Prime Minister.

However, with the then Home Minister P Chidambaram moving to the Finance Ministry and Shinde taking charge, the proposal has been recalled for a thorough review by the new Home Minister.

"The new Home Minister has to be briefed on NCTC. So, the proposal has been brought back. It will be sent to CCS only after he examined it properly," a senior Home Ministry official said.

Without making any comment on NCTC, Shinde had said he would work closely with states in dealing with internal security challenges and contentious issues like setting up of NCTC.

According to the new plan, NCTC will be kept out of the ambit of the Intelligence Bureau and will be an independent entity directly reporting to the Home Ministry.

Besides, the anti-terror body will conduct operations on
its own only if there is an urgency or in rare cases.

The revised plan for NCTC, a pet project of Chidambaram, was prepared after the Centre faced strong opposition to NCTC from Chief Ministers, including from UPA ally Mamata Banerjee.

Those who opposed NCTC include Chief Ministers like Naveen Patnaik (Odisha) and J Jayalalitha (Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat). They alleged such a body armed with such powers will hurt the federal structure of the country.

According to the earlier proposal, the Multi-Agency Centre and the operations wing of the Intelligence Bureau were earmarked for NCTC and the Home Ministry had passed an ordinance making the new anti-terror body as a nodal organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.


First Published: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - 19:29

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