Jaya says NCTC provisions usurp states` rights
Chennai: Joining the chorus against National
Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J
Jayalalithaa on Friday said the proposed body suffered from
`deficiencies` and has provisions that tantamount to usurping
the legitimate rights of the states.
"I share the concerns of other state Chief Ministers who
have expressed reservations against the attitude of certain
Ministries in the Government of India acting in a high handed
manner without due consultation with the States," she said in
a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Jayalalithaa`s missive to the Prime Minister comes on a day
when the Centre`s move to set up the NCTC from March 1 faced
opposition from UPA ally Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen
Taking strong objections to certain provisions of the NCTC
such as power to arrest, search and set up inter-State
Intelligence Support teams, Jayalalithaa said they `smack of a
tendency to abrogate power with no attendant responsibility.`
"The power of arrest and seizure that was vested with the
Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Government of India and
the Secretary, Home Department, in the State Government, is
now sought to be transferred to officers of the IB in the
NCTC," she said.
This was highly objectionable and can be `misused to suit
ends that are motivated by reasons other than fighting
terrorism,` she said in the letter a copy of which was
released to the media here.
Moreover, setting up of inter-state intelligence teams by
the NCTC "is tantamount to usurping the legitimate
rights of the States," Jayalalithaa said.
Holding that matters of public order and Police came under
the state list of the Indian constitution, she asked "is it
unreasonable to expect that when a major initiative such as a
National counter-terrorism mechanism is sought to be
established, the States should be taken into confidence?"
Citing Tamil Nadu`s "excellent track record" with regard to
counter terrorist measures, and its firm stand to deal with
terrorist organizations, she said availability and
transmission of advance intelligence, remaining in a state of
alertness and modernization of equipment coupled with advanced
training were the key to any anti-terrorist establishment.
"Mere setting up of centres to collect and assimilate
intelligence alone will not serve the purpose. The NCTC
suffers from deficiencies," she said.
Jayalalithaa asked Singh to re-examine the provisions of
the order of the Home Ministry so that a counter-terrorism
mechanism that `is purposeful and duly representative of the
role of the states emerges.`