Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday raised concerns over the new draft on National Counter Terrorism Centre terming it a "poorly conceived" idea, which "tinkers" with old ideas rather than strengthening them.
"It is not clear how big it is going to be, what forces are going to comprise it, how exactly it is going to function and which statute will it derive its powers from. I think such poorly conceived ideas, which tinker with age-old existing systems rather than strengthening them are going to do irreparable loss to our internal security apparatus," he said.
Modi said he was slightly worried about the last minute circulation of proposed order on NCTC. He said, "The fact that it is on the agenda and gets a passing mention should not be construed as a consultation with the states much less an arriving of consensus on this issue."
Speaking at the conference of chief ministers on internal security, the Gujarat CM said the new draft circulated has taken into consideration some of the concerns raised by the states but even then serious concerns remain.
Modi expressed his strong reservations about the structure and functioning proposed in the NCTC Order, 2013.
"Moving the multi-agency centre from within the Intelligence Bureau to the proposed the NCTC will end up weakening it even as it appeared that it was taking some concrete shape. The proposed NCTC will be just another superstructure in the maze of institutions already existing," he said.
Modi said proposed structure of the NCTC is not in congruence with the principles of federalism as it essentially tries to create a "federal police" which is an alien concept to the country. "I fear that it will be another institution of the Centre for political misuse against opposition-ruled states," the Gujarat CM said.
Modi said the creation of any new institution or organisation of this nature should be done only after having a complete unanimity amongst the Centre and the states. "The inability of the Centre to coordinate efforts with states to achieve consensus on such issues emanates from the unwillingness on its part to recognise the states as equal partners in handling issues related to internal security. It also exhibits a strong sense of one-upmanship and a contempt for the constitutional division of powers," he said.
The CM said instead of creating a new institution in the form of NCTC, MAC should be strengthened and it should undertake a massive drive for augmenting the operational abilities of the existing security forces.
"Multiplicity of agencies will only create more confusions and ineffectiveness at the field level," he said.
Modi expressed his concerns about purported threat of the Communist Party of India-Maoist to target areas of the country, which are the drivers of the industrial progress of the country.
"Their main target, as per their own words; is the 'Golden Corridor' of the Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad industrial belt, which also includes the major industrial clusters of Surat and Baroda. Given this background, I am disappointed once again by the short-sightedness of today's agenda.
"While the LWE (left wing extremism) affected states fully deserve all priority in the security response of the country, it will be an extremely myopic approach to ignore the security concerns of the LWE targeted regions," Modi said.
Modi criticised poor tangible outcomes of such meetings and said such meetings should be zealously guarded from becoming mere fora for academic exchanges or getting reduced to annual rituals. "Now, more than ever before, we need firm political will to unite as a nation and its leaders, for charting a clear and decisive direction on this critical matter of internal security," he said. PTI ABS
On the internal security situation of the country, the chief minister said the situation today is worse than ever before as country continues to be vulnerable to the threats posed by cross border terrorism and Left wing extremism. "We are also becoming increasingly susceptible to newer forms of security threats such as cyber-attacks, narco-terrorism and terror-financing," he said.
Modi said terrorists and Maoists are striking with such impunity while Central government, and nation at large, remain mute spectators to macabre death and destruction. "It is further disheartening that in times of crisis when the Union government is expected to lead from the front, it chooses to be a disinterested spectator believing that its role ends with generating and passing on intelligence inputs to the states, which themselves are rarely specific and hardly ever actionable," he said. He also shot down idea of separate cadre of investigators calling it impractical.
"Such division of functioning can often lead to callousness as well, creating inconvenience and difficulties. In light of the above, total separation is impractical and undesirable," he said.
Modi said the Centre seems to be punishing the states in the modernisation of police force where the contribution of states has been increased from 25 per cent to 40 per cent after they demanded 100 per cent central funding for it. "These instances expose the lack of seriousness with which the Centre follows up on suggestions given by us," he said.
Modi said it is ironical that while the Union government provides untied funds for numerous schemes even to panchayats, it is unwilling to do the same with state governments in matters of internal security.