The government is learnt to have decided not to go ahead with the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre after facing strong opposition from non-Congress chief ministers. In his concluding remarks at Wednesday’s chief ministers conference on internal security, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said that a decision on setting up of the controversial NCTC will be taken only after full consensus.
Sources said a political consensus even on a watered-down proposal for NCTC is unlikely any time soon and the anti-terror hub has gone into deep freeze.
The sources said there has been rethinking among the top political leadership and they would not like to antagonize chief ministers such as Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and Nitish Kumar (Bihar) on the issue of NCTC ahead of the general election which is less than a year away.
Apart from Banerjee and Kumar, the chief ministers who are opposed to the proposal include Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Raman Singh Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Even Congress Chief Ministers Prithviraj Chavan (Maharashtra), Siddaramaiah (Karnataka) and Tarun Gogoi (Assam) have expressed concern to the revised proposal of the NCTC.
According to the February, 2012 executive order, which faced strong opposition from non-Congress chief ministers, the NCTC will work as an "integral" part of Intelligence Bureau and its director will report to the IB chief.
Besides, the anti-terror body was given 'power' through the executive order to carry out operations, including arrest, search and seizure, while keeping the state police concerned into the loop.
However, the latest draft of the NCTC said it will work directly under the home ministry and not the IB. Besides, when a terrorist or a terror group is identified or located, operations against them would be carried out through or in conjunction with state police.