NCTC can combat any hostage crisis, says Chidambaram

   Apr 30, 10:06 pm

New Delhi, Apr 30(ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) could serve as a 'medium or long term' solution to combat any hostage crisis.

"We should have an NCTC in the first place then we should allow it to build capacity and lay out its own SOP (standard operating procedure). Yes, I think in the medium to long term and NCTC will help us deal with such situations in a more better way," said Chidambaram.

The Home Minister said he was happy to know that the abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon was safe.

"I am in touch with the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Home Secretary is in touch with the Chief Secretary and the DGP (Director General of Police) practically everyday. The intelligence agencies have their men in Raipur and Sukma," Chidambaram said.

On India's current contingency plan to tackle any hostage crisis, Chidambaram said no blueprint could be made until the Collector was safely brought back.

"I think the home secretary has sounded out his counterparts in the states that we should have a hostage policy, but that can only be taken up when the current hostage situation is resolved," he said.

Non-Congress Chief Ministers including UPA ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee have raised objections to the provisions in the NCTC, contending that it will upset the federal structure and encroach on the powers of the states.

The main task of the NCTC would be to ensure that a wide variety of security organizations in the country work in tandem, at least on issues related to terrorism.

It will also have the power to seek information, including documents, reports, transcripts, and cyber information from any agency, including from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency, National Technical Research Organization, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and all seven central armed police forces including the National Security Guard (NSG).

The body, which will function under the Intelligence Bureau, would be given its own operational wing with powers to arrest and conduct searches under Section 43A of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. (ANI)

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