New Delhi: No democratic country has given wide ranging powers to their secret intelligence agencies and hence the NCTC should not be placed under the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said.
Patnaik, who was speaking at the Chief Ministers conference on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), said that the body in its present form is not acceptable to his state.
"I do appreciate that there is a need for an organisation at the central level to tackle terrorism and left wing extremism. However, the NCTC in its present form is simply not acceptable", he said.
"Firstly, such an organisation should not be part of a secret intelligence agency, the IB. No other democratic country has given such wide ranging powers to their secret intelligence agencies as has been envisaged in the case of the NCTC. The job of an intelligence agency is to collect intelligence only. Therefore, the NCTC should not be a part of the IB. It can be with a separate agency like the National Investigation Agency (NIA)", he said.
Patnaik also said the powers proposed to be vested with the NCTC will "certainly undermine the authority of the state governments and vitiate our federal rights".
The Chief Minister said that any hasty decision on the creation and operationalisation of the NCTC will erode the federal structure of the country.
"I do hope that the government of India will respect the concerns of the states while finalising the creation of the NCTC. The creation of the Republic of India in its present form is a result of years of sacrifice and hard work by the founding fathers of our nation", the chief minister said.
"They have very wisely created this federal structure to keep the country united against all divisive forces and fissiparous tendencies. We should not erode this structure by taking any hasty decision which undermines the federal rights of the states", he said.
Patnaik during his speech at the conference urged the Centre "to take utmost care while setting up this body (NCTC) lest it leads to a trust deficit between the centre and the states".
The Odisha CM said it should be made mandatory for the NCTC to intimate the state Director General of Police (DGP) in advance before undertaking any operation.
"For matters of specific concern to the state, prior concurrence of the state government should be made mandatory and normally they should be taken up on the request of the state government giving due regard to the federal rights of the state", he stressed.
"In fact, all operations to be taken up by central forces should be with the assistance of the state police force. In other words, they should be joint operations", he said.
Patnaik further said that there should also be a provision in the NCTC order for obtaining concurrence of each concerned state for forming focus groups to deliberate on specific issues and problem areas.