New Delhi: Opposition
MPs, at a meeting with Home Minister P. Chidambaram Friday, agreed
with him on the need for a centralised anti-terror intelligence
hub, like the proposed NCTC, but after bringing the state
governments on board.
According to sources privy to the meeting of the parliamentary
consultative committee on internal security, almost all MPs
cutting across party lines accepted that the formation of the
National Counter Terrorism Centre "at the earliest" was imperative
to India's counter terrorism mechanism.
A member from the opposition party who was at the meeting said
"none of the members raised objections to the NCTC".
"They agreed that the NCTC was much needed," said the MP, pleading
anonymity because members of the panel are not authorised to
divulge what transpires in its meetings.
Asked if any member from the opposition raised any objection to
the NCTC, the MP said: "Not at all. But they told the home
minister to take states on board and address their fears that
their policing powers won't be diluted."
"He (Chidambaram) sounded committed to it. This (NCTC) is the only
solution to fight the terror. But the point is how to make others
The meeting was attended by Rajya Sabha MPs H.K. Dua, nominated,
Mohammed Ali Khan of the Congress and Vinay Katiyar of the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
From the Lok Sabha, it was attended by Bhisma Shankar alias Kushal
Tiwari of the Bahujan Samaj Party, D.B. Chandre Gowda of the BJP
and Mahabal Mishra and Thokchom Meinya of the Congress.
Ministers of state for home Mullapally Ramachandran and Jitendra
Singh were also present.
The BSP and the BJP, along with many state governments, are
rallying against the NCTC on the grounds that powers given to the
agency would dilute the rights of states and disturb India's
The severe opposition has led to stalling of the proposed
anti-terror organisation that was to be formed in March after a
February government order.
According to a home ministry spokesperson, the members stressed
the need to have a "strong institutional mechanism" to tackle
The home minister told them that delaying the NCTC was increasing
the terror risks.
"We need to counter terrorism not just as a police operation but
we need a counter terrorism organisation that mobilises all
elements of national power; diplomatic, financial, investigative,
intelligence and police. Therefore, we need counter terrorism body
like NCTC or similar organisation."