The much touted National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), to be established under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, has been watered down to the point of near irrelevance by the Centre to please all the opposing states.
And the diluted version of the NCTC was circulated among the states, ahead of the Chief Ministers’ security conference on Wednesday.
It showed that the anti-terror body will now merely facilitate the counter terrorism operations, which would be carried out through or in conjunction with the state police.
In its latest avatar, the NCTC is modelled on the lines of the Multi-agency Centre (MAC) raised in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. And once the NCTC is established, the MAC will be subsumed into the former.
Nonetheless, the new body will continue to gather intelligence from the various agencies to share it with the law enforcement agencies. According to the NCTC draft executive (organisations, functions, powers and duties) order, 2013, the proposed anti-terror body will work directly under the MHA and not the Intelligence Bureau(IB) to draw up plans and coordinate operations for counter terrorism. The NCTC director will report to the Home Secretary.
“Where a terrorist or a terror group is identified or located, operations against them would be carried out through or in conjunction with the state police,” the draft said.
In order, to avoid potential conflict with the state governments while carrying out Central forces operations, the draft order said that in operations where the services of the Specialised Forces are required to assist the state police, the NCTC shall have the authority to requisition the Special Forces.
The non-Congress states had earlier come out against the NCTC order, which they claimed would usurp the power of states and disturb the country’s federal structure by launching operations without keeping the states in the loop.
As per the new NCTC order, the anti-terror body will be governed by a standing council.
It will consist of a Director, who will be a DGP rank officer, three joint directors.
Besides, nominees from the Research and Analysis Wing(RAW), Intelligence Bureau, Naval Intelligence, National Investigation Agency (NIA), Military Intelligence(MI) and the DGPs of seven states, who will be selected every two years through a rotational policy.