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Centre - State hassle over NCTC

National counter terrorism centre better known as NCTC is a premier organization designed to deliver an edge to the government in its fight against terrorism. Terrorism is a very widespread and flexible phenomenon. Incidents of terrorism happen every now and then. To counter these threats, it was decided by the present U.P.A. government to establish an organization specifically dedicated to the task of fighting terrorists. It was to work under Intelligence Bureau, and was armed with powers like making arrests to carry out its functions smoothly. However the coming of NCTC has caused quite a stir in the governance sphere in India. Many states have accused that the powers given to NCTC are an encroachment on the powers and a clear violation of the demarcation of powers between centre and state given under the constitution of India. Some voices have arisen that there is no need of NCTC because the existing agencies are adequate to fight terrorism.

Hence first we need to examine as to why there is need of NCTC. All police and intelligence agencies in India have their designated roles. All the police agencies in India are assigned the role of law enforcement, crime control and crime investigation. While the intelligence agencies are already burdened with the herculean task of gathering, analyzing and developing the field inputs. Hence the present structure has a scope for a specialized agency in fighting terrorism. And the formation of NCTC is a step towards fulfilling that void. Among the contentions of the states the most prominent is that it is a device indented for encroaching upon state's power by the centre. They cite the provisions in which NCTC is given the power to make arrest in any state, which is the power enjoyed by the police of the respected state. However it is to be understood that the NCTC will not be making any arbitrary arrests. All its activities will be regulated by the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC) and Indian Penal Code(IPC). And thus it will be following guidelines like obtaining an arrest warrant before making any arrest and producing the suspect before a magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. It is quite evident that although it may seem quite odd, all the procedures of NCTC are regulated by law.

Coming to the role of NCTC, it will be the only organization that will specifically play the pivotal role of fighting terrorism in India. India has always been very prone to terrorism, but what has troubled authorities is the diverse and varied form of terrorism. Whether it be the NSCN-IN, ULFA or BODO, separatist movements in northeast, Khalistan movements in Punjab or hired foreign mercenaries in Kashmir. All have their different reasons of origin and required different types of approach for solving them. And Indian agencies had to learn by trial and error in the process wasting precious lives and resources. Thus having a specific organization, wholly dedicated to the aim of fighting terrorism will be a big help. Not only that terrorism in 21 st century has developed different dimensions like cyber terrorism and sleeper cell terrorism. Now-a-days increasing numbers of states have established their own counter-terrorism organization like Mumbai ATS, UPSTF, Delhi STF etc. In this case, NCTC will become a mother organization and help in better coordination of these organizations and increase in their potential.

Creation of NCTC will be followed by establishment of a database listing all the details about terrorists. Thus it will help in stopping all the terrorist activities by identifying their working method and also stop further attacks by blocking them. Moreover it will also help in better co- ordination between intelligence and police agencies and will also relives the pressure from the police so that they could solely focus on the role of guarding society and law enforcement. Keeping all these in mind, it can surely be said that NCTC is the need of the hour and the states should rest assured that it will only facilitate their governance not encroach upon their working.

Nilmani