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NCTC back in the reckoning after Hyderabad blasts

Friday, 22 February 2013 - 10:35pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
The National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), controversial brainchild of former home minister P Chidambaram, which was stonewalled by the opposition ruled states, is back in the reckoning following Hyderabad blasts.

The National Counter- Terrorism Centre (NCTC), controversial brainchild of former home minister P Chidambaram, which was stonewalled by the opposition ruled states, is back in the reckoning following Hyderabad blasts.

Unmoved by opposition's onslaught for treating the blast in a “casual” and his statement as “totally disappointing” and “devoid of any concrete and meaningful plan of action", Shinde retorted back in the parliament citing NCTC's example.

Shinde reminded them that the Centre always wanted to set up NCTC that would have helped prevent such blasts but many states objected to it.

The idea of NCTC had been abandoned after violent opposition by states like West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

“We need to debate on these issues instead of dismissing them,” he said.
Officials in the union home ministry also felt that Hyderabad blasts have made the case to have NCTC stronger than ever before.

“We hope that the states will listen now and the disagreement will subside,” union home secretary RK Singh said.

Shinde found support in external affaris minister Salman Khurshid who called for a debate on such a centre.

Khurshid said all political parties and state governments should come together for a collective response to fight against the challenge of terrorism. It is believed that Khurshid, who is also member of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Media, was trying to extract reactions from opposition.

Asked if the centre will make a renewed push for NCTC, Khurshid said, "It is not a matter of pushing. It is a matter of concern for all of us including all political parties, state governments and all the people involved with governance at the central government level to come together to find collective response to the challenge (of terrorism) that continues to haunt us."

He went on to add, "We should stop scoring points at each other, we should stop looking at narrow political gains. We should look at a larger picture in the national interest."

The states had feared that a powerful NCTC, with the powers of seizure and arrests would be an  encroachment into the states' right of policing.

Khurshid was also hesitant to link Hyderabad blasts to the terror groups in Pakistan.  "The probe is already on and it will bring out the truth. Such things have been seen earlier also and we have taken
up the pain and resolve not only with our neighbours but internationally also. Whatever comes out in the probe, the Government will take steps in national interest,” he said.

Advocating a  greater objectivity in the political discourse in dissecting such blasts, he said it was important to calm down. . "The question is about our whole society and not just political discourse... It is important that temperatures are brought down and we have greater objectivity in our discourse. I think the real enemy is scoring points again and again. We would not be able to do by criticising each other or fighting against each other,” he said.


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