Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday made it clear that the Centre would not take any unilateral decision regarding the setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Speaking at the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) monthly media briefing, Shinde said there were certain issues that needed to be resolved and he would soon consult all the opposing states in order to evolve a consensus.
“When such opposition is there we will think over it and then decide. We need to evolve a consensus on it. I have said many a time that both the Centre and the states need to work together. We cannot do it alone,” he said.
The minister also mentioned several vexed issues that were resolved following consultations between the Centre and the state governments,which resulted in the revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) being incorporated in the NCTC draft.
“First, the CMs’ objection that it should not be under the Intelligence Bureau (IB). So we took it off. They also said its operationalisation should not be under the IB and that also we did. I will only say that we tried to have a Central intelligence agency but they said a multi-agency centre is there,” he said.
On whether the Centre was planning to take the NCTC to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Shinde said the MHA had received several inputs from the opposing states, which were being looked into. Hence, a decision on whether to take the issue to the CCS will be taken only after the due process. “As of now there is no question of taking the NCTC to the CCS,” the minister said.
Chief Ministers like Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal have opposed even a watered-down proposal for NCTC during a recent meeting on internal security here.
The Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had earlier said his Ministry was not exploring the option of bringing a Bill in Parliament for the purpose.
After the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the then Home Minister P Chidambaram had announced the government’s intention to set up NCTC.
According to the February, 2012 executive order, which faced strong opposition from non-Congress Chief Ministers, NCTC will work as an ‘integral’ part of Intelligence Bureau and its director will report to the IB chief.
Besides, the anti-terror body was given ‘power’ to carry out operations, including arrest, search and seizure, while keeping the state police concerned in the loop.