Govt trying to push through NCTC

New Delhi: In the wake of twin blasts in Hyderabad, the Centre has taken the initiative to restart negotiations with states for setting up the controversial anti-terror body NCTC, opposed by non-Congress states.

According to the new plan, NCTC will be kept out of the ambit of the Intelligence Bureau and will be an independent entity directly reporting to the Home Ministry.

Besides, the anti-terror body will conduct operations against any terror operatives only after taking state police into confidence, official sources said.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is believed to have discussed the issue with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a key opponent of the project, during his two-day visit to the state from Sunday.

Shinde on Monday stressed that the Centre was keen to introduce the NCTC to firmly deal with terrorism and said Banerjee has a 'positive mind' towards the issue.

"I had talked to her earlier also on the NCTC issue. She has a positive mind (Unka toh maan hai)," Shinde told reporters when asked if he discussed the issue with the chief minister at a meeting at Fraserganj in South 24-Parganas district.

Shinde is expected to hold dialogue with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, all of whom opposed to NCTC in its present form.

The Home Minister may hold separate meetings with the Chief Ministers to allay their apprehensions and apprise them of the revised plan for the anti-terror hub, a pet project of former Home Minister P Chidambaram.

An earlier meeting of chief ministers, convened by Chidambaram, had failed to evolve consensus on NCTC.

According to the earlier proposal, the Multi-Agency Centre and the operations wing of the IB were earmarked for NCTC and the Home Ministry had passed an ordinance in March last year making the new anti-terror body a nodal organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

But it was deferred indefinitely in the face of opposition by the states.