National counter terrorism centre
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National counter terrorism centre
The National Counter-terrorism Center (NCTC) was establishedin 2004 by Presidential Executive Order.Basically it is a top anti-terror body under Intelligencebureau.The formation of this counter-terror body defy the old formatof national government agencies, to make it more effective and adistinguished organisation, following the key recommendations of9/11 commission.It has been inducted to become a centre for joint operationalplanning and joint intelligence to counter terrorism that holdsthe staff of distinguished personnel from various governmentagencies.
Such a body is required to meet the growing threat ofterrorist violence which recognises neither national norinternational boundaries, especially for a country likeours, which faces a high level of threat.Under our Constitution, law and order and policing areundoubtedly the responsibility of the state governments. But atthe time our Constitution was framed there were no organisedterrorist groups of the kind operating globally today.Post Independence, communal and political ideology drivenviolence was the worst that the police forces were called uponto tackle.
Realising the seriousness of the threat from trans-nationalterrorism, almost all major democracies including theUS, UK, and other European countries have been able to enact andcreate central agencies to tackle the menace, within theframework of their respective federal structures, placingnational security concerns above partisan politics.Whenever a serious terrorist incident takes place the stategovernments have been observed taking the plea that there was noadvance intelligence from the central agencies and occasionallyone also comes across comments to the effect that the statepolice forces are neither equipped nor geared to counter threatsof such magnitude, especially those driven by external entities.But now that the Centre has come up with a proposal toconstitute a central agency to combat terrorist threat headon, there is a growing outcry that the Centre is treading on thestate governments toes, in violation of the letter and spiritof our Constitution.
As many as nine Chief Ministers of different states haveridiculed the Centres decision to instill NCTC across thestates in India.Mamata Banerjee is also among the rebellion state heads, asthese CMs presume that this prime anti-terrorists agency mayclamp down the rights of their respective states.NCTC will set up small offices across the state to gather thereal-time information. It will be headed by an Intelligencebureau official and report to Home Ministry.NCTC officers can carry out raids without a prior permissionof respective states.
The officers can arrest anyone over terrorism related cases.The states other government authorities are bound to sharedetails to the NCTC if required, no matter how confidential itis.Thus the anti-terror body will gather all real-timeintelligence, exactly what IB is now lacking, and distributeinformation to other agencies, in order to have an effectivesystem in place to tackle terrorism.It has the right to take assistance of any special force inthe country including National Security Guard (NSG)A group of nine dissent-CMs see it as "a fringe on the rightsof states", Centres "authoritarian" and "draconian", they havealso suggested PM to re-look into the Centres decision.
It took the United States less than three years after the 9/11attacks to get its National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) upand away.From our first major internationally organised terror attackin Mumbai in March 1993 it took us 17 years to think of settingup a similar centre.During these 17 years we went through a series ofinternationally organised high profile terror attacks.After Kargil we established a Multi Agency Centre asrecommended by the GC Saxena intelligence task force.This failed to deliver because the wonderful concept could notbe implemented properly. It merely ended up being another officeof the Intelligence Bureau.
The urgency to do something was apparent after the Mumbaimassacre in November 2008.India hurriedly established the NIA in order perhaps to beseen to be doing something although this organisation was in noway going to stop terrorist attacks.Now that there is talk that an Indian version of the NCTC ison the anvil, many wonder what shape it would take.The NCTC should co-ordinate, evaluate and analyse allintelligence reports that relate to terrorism.The NCTC must then decide on a course of action and task theintelligence agency or any special forces that are available forwhatever action is necessary to abort the terrorist mission.
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