February 17th, 2012
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Mamata opposes powers granted to National Counter Terrorism Centre

mamata-banerjeeKolkatta: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has fiercely expressed her objection towards the National Counter Terrorism Centre, that will be operational by March 1. She has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing her discontent. According to her the agency might undermine the states’ control over law and order. They say the centre’s blueprint of this new body violates the principles of federalism by encroaching into the states jurisdiction. Home Minister P Chidambaram had announced recently that the NCTC will begin operating by March 1.

“It is difficult for the state government to accept such arbitrary exercise of power by the Central government… which have a bearing on the rights and privilege of the states as enshrined in the Constitution of India.This has not been done in the instant case. The order, therefore, appears to be an infringement on the powers of state governments in matters of investigation and maintenance of order,” she wrote.

Four chief ministers have joined Ms Banerjee. Bihar’s Nitish Kumar, Tamil Nadu’s J Jayalalithaa, Odisha’s Navin Patnaik and Gujarat’s Narendra Modi have become Ms Banerjees allies.

They have raised concerns that the powers given to the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) would infringe on the federal structure and the rights of state governments.The powerful anti-terror agency, which will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats in India, derives powers from the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) that allows central government agencies to make arrests or searches in terror-related cases.The agency will keep state police in the loop but need not seek permission from state governments before launching any operation.


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