12 May 2012

Institutional Mechanism Required to Tackle Terrorism: P. Chidambaram

The threat perception of terrorism in the country continues to be high and we need an institutional mechanism to tackle it. Given the gravity of the situation, everyday we delay NCTC, we increase our risk. This was stated by the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram while replying to the Consultative Committee Members here today. Naxalism and insurgency in North East are now becoming terrorist in nature and we need institutional mechanism to deal with it. He said that we need to counter terrorism not just as a police operation but we need a counter terrorism organization that mobilizes all elements of national power; diplomatic, financial, investigative, intelligence and police. Therefore, he said we need counter terrorism body like NCTC or similar organization. 

Members expressed concern over growing terrorist activities and cross border terrorism and smuggling and circulation of fake currency notes. They emphasised the need for a strong mechanism to deal with terrorism which has now taken global dimensions. Some members suggested early finalization of NCTC in this context. Member also suggested stopping of Hawala funds. Members expressed concern/highlighted spread of opium and other drugs and growing terrorism in Punjab, linking it with Pakistan and suggested strong measures to counter these. 

Earlier while initiating the discussion, the Union Home Minister said that Counter-terrorism structure in place consists of Multi Agency Centre (MAC) & Subsidiary Multi Agency Centres (SMAC), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and National Security Guards (NSG). Those being put in place are NATGRID and Crime & Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS). The Centre for Counter terrorism is not in place. He explained that apart from subversive activities of militant groups in North East and violence perpetrated by Left Wing Extremist Group (LWE) in some States, the growing concern remains on combating cross border terrorism. He said the Government is committed to ensure that perpetrators of terrorist activities and their masterminds and conspirators are brought to justice and that prosecution and sentencing to the fullest extent of the law is ensured. 

Scheme for Modernization of State Police Forces (MPF) is being reviewed and extended by the Central Government beyond 31.3.2011 and work for conceptualizing the next phase of the Scheme has also commenced. Since 2009 to 2011, under the MPF Scheme, 745 new police stations have been constructed. In addition, 17824 vehicles, 26465 bullet proof jackets and 107786 weapons have been provided to the State and UT police forces. Integrated Action Plan (IAP) is being implemented with series of developmental schemes to deal with poverty in naxal affected areas. 
The policy of the Government is to undertake intelligence-based operations to neutralize terrorist/espionage cell/modules. This is done in a coordinated and sustained manner by the Central and State Security and intelligence agencies. 
As a result of the coordination action by the Central and State intelligence and security agencies, 51 Pak backed terrorist/espionage modules have been detected/neutralized in various parts of the country. 
Answering queries of Members, the Union Home Minister said that there are only two terrorist bomb blast cases which are not completely solved as yet i.e. Mehrauli bomb blast case of March 2010 and Sheetala Ghat Varanasi case of December 2010. 
The following members of Consultative Committee were present at the Meeting: 
Sh. H.K. Dua, Nominated, Sh. Mohd. Ali Khan, INC Andhra Pradesh, Sh. Vinay Katiyar, BJP, Uttar Pradesh from Rajya Sabha. Shri Bhisma Shankar alias Kushal Tiwari, BSP, Uttar Pradesh, Sh. D.B. Chandre Gowda, BJP, Karnataka, Dr. Thokchom Meinya, INC, Mainipur, Sh. Mahabal Mishra, INC, Delhi from Lok Sabha. Ministers of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Shri Mullapally Ramachandran and Shri Jitender Singh were also present. 

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