There will be no National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) as of now, Home Minister P. Chidambaram hinted Saturday after the government failed to convince dissenting chief ministers over the need to have an all-powerful one-stop anti-terror hub.
He said all state chief ministers “recognised the need” to have an anti-terror agency but raised questions over the functioning and powers of the proposed organisation.
Chidambaram said the questions asked in the conference convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were why should the NCTC conduct operations even in exceptional cases without prior notice to state police forces and why the organisation should come under the Intelligence Bureau.
“We will eventually examine (the issues raised) and the government will take the final decision,” he said, adding he had asked the dissenting chief ministers that the “gaps” in fighting terrorism “will not be filled in by normal police officers”.
“We feel NCTC can fill that gap. If not the NCTC, then some other body and that body has to be given some powers,” the minister said.
“All their suggestions would be carefully examined. I came to the conference with an open mind and I left the conference with an open mind,” said a disappointed home minister.
Asked about questions being raised by Congress chief ministers in the conference, Chidambaram said they raised the issue of why the NCTC should come under the IB.