Let’s move to a next topic of Internal security –National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC).
Why there was a need of NCTC ?
- After the 26/11 attacks, Government felt the need to setup a separate body to deal with terrorism.
- NCTC will derive its powers from the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA), 1967.
- The basic idea is to prevent confusion regarding intelligence inputs and also ensure that none of the police forces from the states enter into a blame game regarding intelligence sharing as one got to see during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
- The standing council of the NCTC will consist of anti-terror agencies in states.
- The body will have 3 divisions dealing with collection and dissemination of intelligence, analysis and operations.
How did the proposal to set up the NCTC originate?
- The NCTC has been designed on the lines of the American NCTC and UK’s “Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre”.
- Home Minister P. Chidambaram and former National Security Adviser (NSA) M.K. Narayanan visited USA in 2009 to study the working of the American NCTC.
What will NCTC do?
- It will have the power to conduct searches and arrests in any part of India.
- It will collect, collate and disseminate data on terrorism.
- It will also maintain a database on terrorist and their associates including their families.
- In short, NCTC will serve as a single and effective point of control and coordination of all counter terrorism measures.
But, What is the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC)?
It is platform to share varied intelligence inputs coming from various agencies like –
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
- Economic Intelligence Agency (EIA)
- Enforcement Directorate (ED)
How is it different from US and UK model?
- USA’s NCTC which deals only with strategic planning and integration of intelligence without any operational involvement.
- UK‘s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which too plays a purely coordinating role.
- But the Indian NCTC will have not only intelligence functions but also powers to conduct operations, raids and arrests in any part of India.
What is the problem with NCTC?
NCTC was to start working from March 2012, but it could not be launched due to opposition from a group of Non-Congress chief ministers who say that NCTC is against the federal structure of the country.
Power to Arrest without informing State Government
- Non-Congress CM’s allege that the NCTC has been empowered to search and arrest people without informing the state government, police or anti-terror squad in the loop.
- The role of the state becomes redundant with such powers and states would have no say or role to play in the fight against terrorism.
- This would have a bearing on the rights and privileges of the states as enshrined in the Constitution.
- To curb this fear, Home Ministry had altered the rules.
- Now, the senior most police officers in all states – the Director Generals of Police and the chiefs of anti-terror squads of all states will be members of the Standing Council of the NCTC.
Overlapping with NIA
- National Investigation Agency (NIA) was established after the 26/11 attacks.
- So, the establishment of a new NCTC would only add to the bureaucratic tangle in intelligence sharing and counter terrorist action.
- However, Mr. Chidambaram had assured that NIA is merely a predecessor of NCTC. (so, once NCTC comes into operation, the NIA will function under it or will be submerged into NCTC)
What is the Centre’s stance on this?
- The UPA, however, has defended the setting up NCTC arguing that it will not trample on the rights of the states.
- Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that terror is a real threat and “it is necessary to bring together all elements of national power in real in order to surmount a formidable challenge to it.”
Published with inputs from Arun