New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) Their public posturing against the NCTC notwithstanding, opposition MPs in a meeting with Home Minister P. Chidambaram Friday agreed with his view on the need to have a centralised anti-terror intelligence hub 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 in the meeting said “none of the members raised objection 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 transpired in the meeting.
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 realise this.”
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.
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 federal structure.
Ministers of state for home Mullapally Ramachandran and Jitender Singh were also present.
According to a home ministry spokesperson, the members stressed the need to have a “strong institutional mechanism” to tackle terror.
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.”