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Crisis Management Committee formulating quick response to terror

December 01, 2008 23:56 IST

The crisis management committee went into a review of its policy and will formulate new norms on how to deal with cases of aircraft hijack and terrorism.

The committee, headed by the cabinet secretary, reviewed old files on such matters to formulate a quick response to deal with such a crisis in the future, top government sources in Delhi said.

The last time such a policy revision had been made was after the Kandahar hostage situation of Indian Airlines flight IC-814,  that forced the then National Democratic Alliance government to release three terrorists in exchange for the passengers.

Immediately after the hijack, the policy on crisis management had undergone a radical change, while it would have to be further chiseled, based on the experience gained from the Mumbai carnage, the sources said. Other kind of threats to the national security will have to be also taken into account.

The CMC operates from the Cabinet Secretariat in Rashtrapati Bhawan and its permanent members, besides the cabinet secretary, are the foreign secretary, home secretary, Intelligence Bureau director and Research and Analysis Wing secretary. Its job is limited to hijacking and terrorism while there is a separate National Disaster Management Committee to tackle the natural calamities.

Sources said the CMC is able to assemble at an hour's notice and it did so also last Wednesday when a snap decision was taken to authorise the NSG chief to take full command of the Mumbai terror attack. In Delhi, the defence secretary monitored the action on behalf of the CMC. There is a permanent control room in the Cabinet Secretariat that monitors threats and crises and gathers information for urgent CMC decisions.

A Correspondent in Delhi