National Counter-Terrorism Centre India

Establishment of India’s National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is closely linked to the similar bodies in United States. Before 9/11 attacks in US, the responsibility for co-ordination related to terrorist threats was under the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). A Counter-Terrorism Centre (CTC) of CIA handled the task of coordination, follow-up on the intelligence gathered by various agencies. After 9/11 attacks, USA realised the serious gaps in its intelligence gathering mechanism and it set up a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in 2004 as an independent institution not under the control of any existing agency.

Similarly, in 2000, the NDA government had set up a Task Force to revamp India’s intelligence organisational structure. Based on the report of task force, the government set up a Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) on the lines of United States Counter-Terrorism Centre (CTC). MAC started functioning as the intelligence gathering agency. But after the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, the Home Minister {P Chidambaram} envisaged setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) on the lines of NCTC of USA.

Chidambaram envisaged NCTC as follows:

  • NCTC would work as an umbrella organisation, which would exercise control over agencies like NIA, NTRO, Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), NATGRID as well as NSG.
  • NCTC would draw its powers from theUnlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
  • It would be kept under the control of Union Home Ministry and would be given powers to conduct searches and issue arrest warrants throughout India.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in 2012 had given approval for NCTC but then many state governments opposed the NCTC on the grounds that it would undermine the federal structure of the country. They argued that law and order is a state subject and the overarching power given to NCTC would impinge on the authority of state governments. Slowly, the proposal of an NCTC was put in cold storage.

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