No conflict between central, state agencies: HM
New Delhi: Under attack from several chief ministers, including UPA ally Mamata Banerjee, on NCTC, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said there was no conflict between the central and state agencies and they worked together on the ground to deal with terrorsts.
Addressing a conference of chief ministers on internal security, Chidambaram said in 2011, 18 terror modules were neutralised and 53 persons arrested and in the first three months of 2012, three modules were neutralised and 11 persons arrested.
"I wish to underline the fact that one-half of the cases were cracked through the joint efforts of the central agencies and state police concerned. This…is the reality. At the operational level, there is no conflict between the central agencies and the state police forces. They work together, consult each other, share intelligence and, when necessary, mount joint operations to apprehend the suspects. In my view, such silent and invisible work of neutralising terrorist modules deserves as much praise as solving the terrorist cases," he said.
The Home Minister`s remarks bear significance as several non-Congress chief ministers including Banerjee, Odisha`s Naveen Patnaik, Tamil Nadu`s J Jayalalitha, Gujarat`s Narendra Modi and Bihar`s Nitish Kumar, have opposed the Centre`s plan to set up anti-terror hub National Counter Terrorism Centre.
"..I would once again like to underscore my firm belief that, bound by the Constitution of India and working together, we can make this country safe and secure; ensure peace and harmony; and create an environment that will promote faster and more inclusive growth," he said.
The chief ministers have claimed that the NCTC would infringe on the powers of the state governments and hurt the country`s federal structure. The central government, they have stated, has not taken the states into confidence before going ahead with the plan.
Conceding their demand for discussion on the NCTC issue, the Centre has decided to hold a special meeting of chief ministers on May 5 to deliberate on the controversial issue threadbare.
Referring to various projects undertaken by the Centre, the Home Minister said the National Security Guards (NSG) has moved into its permanent headquarters at the four hubs and soon the NIA will set up new offices at Mumbai, Kochi and Lucknow. "Other elements have to be put in place to complete the security architecture and I earnestly seek your cooperation and support in that regard," he told the chief ministers without mentioning the NCTC issue.
Expressing concern over local support received by those arrested in connection with various cases, Chidambaram said, "What is a cause of worry, however, is that, in practically every case, a small section of the people springs to the support of persons who are detained for interrogation or arrested and charged".
He said, "There is no apparent reason for such support other than the affinity of religion or sect. This is a dangerous trend and makes the task of the investigating agencies more difficult."
The Home Minister urged the chief ministers to join him in appealing to the people, and to the media, to observe caution and restraint and place faith in the integrity and impartiality of the investigation.