New Delhi: Bowing to strict oppositions from the non-Congress Chief Ministers for allegedly undermining the federal structure of the constitution while deciding to set up the proposed anti-militancy body, National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the Centre on Monday has postponed the functioning of NCTC which was scheduled to be operational from March 1.
Any concrete action in this regard will now be taken only after the Centre convenes a meeting of the DGPs of all States on March 10. Apart from this the appointment of the Director and three Joint Directors of the NCTC has also been put on hold.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Chief Ministers of ten non-Congress states had written letters to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expressing their strong reservation over the formation of anti-terror agency.
Naveen was the first to write a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention into ‘infringement’ of rights of States by the Centre. In his letter to Prime Minister, Naveen had pointed out that the anti-terror agency, constituted in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the powers vested in it appear to be an infringement on the powers of State Governments in matters of investigation and maintenance of order.
As per the memorandum of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on February 3, the NCTC officers will have power to search and arrest under Section-3A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, without consulting the State Government.
Further the order also requires all authorities, including functionaries of State Governments to provide information, documents and reports to NCTC.
Later Chief Ministers of Bihar, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Himanchal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura had written to the Prime Minister expressing their strong reservations about the formation of NCTC following Naveen’s letter.
Thereafter in similar letters to the Chief ministers of 10 states, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said that, “Countering terrorism is a shared responsibility. I assure you that the intention of the Government is to continue to work with State Governments. A meeting of the heads of police and anti-terror bodies in States would be convened to discuss in detail the scope and functions of the NCTC”.