CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has been wielding the pen mightily, having written many letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Last week, she wrote her third missive expressing her views on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). Her other two letters—the latest sent last week—requested Manmohan Singh to support the US-backed resolution in United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on accountability in the Sri Lankan civil war involving HR violations. The prime minister has been ignoring the epistles and Amma isn’t amused.
“I am surprised that instead of getting a response from you (the PM) for my earlier letters on the NCTC, the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and the DGP have been asked to attend meeting to be chaired by the Union Home Secretary on March 12 to discuss the pro- visions relating to the office memorandum on the NCTC,” her most recent letter states. However, she has instructed the Tamil Nadu DGP to attend.
She has asked the PM to convene a meeting of all Chief Ministers after circulating a background paper on the roles of the Centre and states and offer insights as to how they could work together in this national effort.
“Tinkering with a few provisions—renaming the designated authority or arming the Intelligence Bureau with the power of arrest and seizure, or dictating to state governments about the formation of inter-State Intelligence Support Teams – will hardly help in this fight against terrorism,” the CM said in her third letter to the PM on the NCTC written since February 17.
Her point is when contemplating a national counter terrorism centre, consultation through formal communication should have been initiated with the states, particularly when the state governments and the Union Home Ministry have to work together. Jaya said she had even enunciated in detail steps she has taken to boost counter terrorism and the way forward. The availability and transmission of advance intelligence, remaining in a state of alertness, modernisation of equipment, coupled with advanced training, were the key elements of any anti-terrorism establishment.
On the Sri Lanka issue, Jayalalithaa had written to the PM against the visits of Sri Lankan dignitaries to Tamil Nadu. She wanted the Centre to allow such visits only after consulting the state. Jaya has warned Manmohan that she was awaiting a positive response. In the current political climate in Delhi, how the PM handles an ultimatum like that is a matter of much speculation.