Centre treating states as adversaries on NCTC: Jayalalithaa
Chennai: Slamming the Centre for the `ham-handed manner` in which it sought to set up the NCTC, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said it should seek the active cooperation of all state governments as its equal partners in the fight against terrorism.
The UPA Government was increasingly taking unilateral steps and creating top down structures and parallel authorities that encroach upon the constitutional domain of state governments, she said in her speech read out in her absence at the conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi.
"This is an ill-informed and counter-productive approach best illustrated by the ham-handed manner in which the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has been sought to be established," she added.
Jayalalithaa recalled that at a conference held by the Centre on the issue in May last year she had exhaustively conveyed her government`s Opposition to NCTC on various grounds including doubts about its operative effectiveness and had written to the Prime Minister in December 2012 that no proactive step should be taken to set it up without consultation with the state.
In her speech read out by state Municipal Administration Minister K P Munuwamy, Jayalalithaa said the Centre should communicate to the states the draft of any proposal that may be prepared for setting up such a body.
However, the full contours of such a national institution to counter terrorism had still not been shared with the state governments, she said, adding "There are unconfirmed reports that the NCTC will now be constituted outside the Intelligence Bureau."
"I fail to understand why the Centre persists in dealing with such a sensitive matter in such an insidious fashion, treating the state governments as though they are adversaries to be suspected rather than partners, and continues trying to establish the Counter Terrorism Centre by stealth, rather than in a spirit of co-operation and transparency and in partnership with the state governments," she said.
"The government should shed the mantle of suspicion and distrust and seek the active co-operation of all the state governments as its equal partners in our fight against the common enemy --- terrorism," she added.
Stating that financial constraints stood in the way of modernisation and upgradation of police force, Jayalalithaa said allocation of central assistance for this had come down "drastically" in 2012-13.
She also pressed her demand for setting up a Rapid Action Counter Terrorist Force in every state to fight terrorism effectively.
"State governments should be given liberal financial assistance by the Centre to raise such a force fully equipped with modern weapons and training. This would be, in my opinion, the appropriate strategy for counter terrorist operations," she said.
She criticised the Centre`s handling of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and recurring attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy.
Recalling her earlier letters to the Prime Minister over the issue, she said, "These continuing attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy, and the lack of a suitable and effective response by the Government of India, have agitated the entire fisherfolk community in Tamil Nadu, and this impinges upon the internal security environment in the state."
She also underlined her repeated demands to the Centre to try to seek a permanent solution to the problem by getting back Indian sovereignty over the island of Kachatheevu, which was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974.
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