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President favours setting up of NCTC

Notwithstanding opposition from non-Congress states, President Pratibha Patil on Monday favoured setting up of the NCTC.



New Delhi: Notwithstanding opposition from
Non-congress States, President Pratibha Patil on Monday favoured setting up of the NCTC, saying it would improve India`s capability to counter internal security threats as terrorist modules continue to be active in the country.

Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, Patil said
the July 13, 2011 bomb blasts in Mumbai and September 7, 2011 explosion in Delhi were a grim reminder that terrorist modules continue to be active in the country.

"In 2011, eighteen terrorist modules were neutralised.
The National Intelligence Grid and the National Counter
Terrorism Centre (NCTC) aim to improve India`s capability to
counter internal security threats," she said.

The President`s statement came even as over a dozen chief
ministers, including West Bengal Chief Minister and UPA ally
Mamata Banerjee, Odisha`s Naveen Patnaik, Bihar`s Nitish Kumar and Tamil Nadu`s J Jayalalitha, have opposed the creation of the NCTC on the ground that it would hurt the federal structure of the country and infringe into states` powers.

Patil said in the area of internal security, the UPA
government has launched a number of measures towards
development of areas affected by left-wing extremism.

She said the Integrated Action Plan with an outlay of Rs
3,300 crore in the last two years has brought development to
the villages in the most backward and violence-affected
districts of the country.

The plan, which was being implemented so far in 60
districts, has been extended to 78 districts, she said.

The President said the central government has shown that
acts of violence can be contained with a firm but humane
approach.

"The security situation in the north eastern states and
Jammu and Kashmir has shown considerable improvement during the last year," the President said.

Patil said the UPA government has always been willing to
enter into dialogue with any group willing to abjure the path
of violence.

"It is encouraging that a number of organisations have
come forward seeking resolution of their grievances in a
peaceful manner," she said.

The President said a major success achieved in Jammu and
Kashmir was the conduct of the Panchayat elections after a
long gap and it received an overwhelming response from the
people with more than 80 per cent voter turnout.

She said more than one crore pilgrims had `darshan` of
Mata Vaishno Devi during 2011.

She also said Special Industry Initiative Scheme known as
"Udaan" and Skill Development and Employment Scheme called "Himayat" have been launched for the youth of Jammu & Kashmir.

The President said in deference to the long-cherished
wishes of the people of the region, the Centre has signed a
tripartite agreement for setting up of the Gorkhaland
Territorial Administration.

Another tripartite Memorandum of Settlement has been
signed with United People`s Democratic Solidarity in Assam,
Patil said, adding a non-lapsable central pool of resources
has been created to cover the gaps in funding requirements of central government projects in the north east.

PTI

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