New Delhi: Conceding to the demands of non-Congress Chief Ministers, the Centre has diluted the much touted NCTC with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde exuding confidence that the anti-terror hub would see the light of the day during the Chief Ministers' conference in New Delhi next month. Shinde said all the apprehensions of the opposing chief ministers have been allayed as the "operations" part has been taken out from the body.
"There is nothing to oppose in the NCTC now. The operations part (of the NCTC) has been taken out. I am hopeful that the NCTC will be approved during the CMs' conference," Shinde said. The local police will make the arrests in any case and hence the state government would be involved with the NCTC, he said.
The establishment of the body will be discussed during the April 15 internal security meeting of the Chief Ministers. The setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre is being opposed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), J Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu) and Naveen Patnaik (Odisha).
The ambitious NCTC, planned to counter terrorist designs, would now be out of the ambit of the Intelligence Bureau and it would conduct search operations or arrest anyone in any state only after informing the state police chief. Those opposed to NCTC have been maintaining that allowing NCTC to conduct operations unilaterally would infringe on the states' powers and hurt the federal structure of the country.
Shinde had earlier said he would discuss the issue with the Chief Ministers and try to break the logjam. He had said the NCTC would come for sure but only after every chief minister gives approval.
In the next few days, the Home Ministry is expected to circulate a note on the diluted version of the NCTC to all chief ministers so that they can study it and express their views at the meeting. The last meeting of the Chief Ministers, held on March 5, 2012 had failed to evolve a consensus on NCTC, a pet project of then Home Minister P Chidambaram.