Sukhbir opposes NCTC, seeks special security package

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Wednesday strongly rejected the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre terming it as a direct interference in the federal structure of the country besides giving a power to Centre to tactically intervene in the internal affairs of the states.

Vehemently opposing the NCTC in the meeting of Chief Minister on Internal Security held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here today, Badal regretted that Union Government has reduced the annual meeting of Chief Ministers on Internal Security as an annual ritual with not a single proposal or suggestion by Chief Ministers getting materialised during last four years. He said that we should not take states for a ride on the name of security as Punjab has singularly fought the decade long terrorism without NCTC and he doesn’t understand why NCTC was required now?

He said that Central forces if allowed operations under NCTC would descend in the state without assessing the sensitivity, launch an operation and move out leaving the consequences of the operations to be tackled by the States alone. He said that how Central forces act in isolation without taking local situation in account can be gauged from the fact that Operation Blue Star was launched by the Central Forces on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, when a large number of devotees were inside the Golden Temple resulting in the large number of causalities of innocent pilgrims. He said that this gross insensitivity by Central forces instead of tackling the situation further complicates it for the states.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that instead of NCTC the system of sharing of intelligence by Ministry of Home Affairs was effectively working. He said that instead of frittering away energy and resources the new body not acceptable to any state,. The Union Government should provide full backing to the State Governments in their modernisations plans and capacity building.

Questioning the basic purpose of annual meeting on Internal Security without any substantial result, Badal said that instead of All India Meeting the Union Home Minister should convene State Specific meeting individually and tackle the problem of that state understanding the ground reality position in that specific state. He said that this meeting has become an annual ritual with Chief Ministers delivering five minutes speech and Union Government not accepting their a single suggestion.

Requesting the Prime Minister to pay special attention to Border States and problems being created by cross border insurgency, narco-terrorism and counterfeit currency being pushed in the country, Badal questioned the wisdom o Union Government to focus on problem when it blows on your face. He said that today after Naxal attack total energy of the Union Government was on anti-naxal operations and we would wait other problems till they blow on our face. He said that the problem of Naxal was more than two decade old and failure to tackle that problem till now suggests that we were adopting the wrong strategy in controlling that. He said that Prime Minister should also convene a special meeting of Border States as being done in the Naxal affected states.