NCTC: Shinde likely to call meet of Chief Ministers

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Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde may convene a meeting of Chief Ministers, strongly opposed to the setting up of NCTC, to allay their apprehensions and apprise them of the revised plan for the anti-terror hub.

Shinde, who was given a thorough presentation on the NCTC, is expected to discuss the issue with Home Ministry officials next week on how to take forward the issue, which is facing strong opposition from opposition and allies alike.

Official sources said a limited meeting of those Chief Ministers who are opposed to NCTC may be called by Shinde to discuss the issue and allay their apprehensions.

Those who opposed the NCTC include Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), J. Jayalalitha (Tamil Nadu) and Narendra Modi (Gujarat).

They had claimed that such a body armed with powers will hurt the federal structure of the country.

So far, Shinde has not discussed with any Chief Minister on National Counter Terrorism Centre, a pet project of his predecessor P. Chidambaram.

Earlier, the Home Minister said he would like to discuss with the Chief Ministers before making the NCTC operational.

According to the new plan, NCTC will be kept out of the ambit of the Intelligence Bureau and will be an independent entity directly reporting to the Home Ministry.

Besides, the anti-terror body will conduct operations on its own only if there is an urgency or in rare cases.

An earlier meeting of Chief Ministers had failed to evolve a consensus on NCTC due to which it was pushed to the back-burner.

According to the earlier proposal, the Multi-Agency Centre and the operations wing of the IB were earmarked for NCTC and the Home Ministry had passed an ordinance making the new anti-terror body a nodal organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Last month, Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh told Lok Sabha that government will soon take a decision on setting up of NCTC.

"The Government of India is committed to account for the concerns/objections/ suggestions of various states / Union Territories. A suitable decision in this regard will be taken shortly," he had said.

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