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Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi while strongly demanding rollback of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) condemned the UPA Government for damaging the trust between Union Government and States. He said that in last few months, UPA Government has taken a number of such ill-advised steps to weaken State Governments. He also said that by this kind of intentions and unilateral actions, it is making terrorists happy as its focus is shifting from fighting terrorists to weakening State Governments. In a scathing attack on the lack of leadership, he said that the Union Government is functioning in total disregard to the Constitutional propriety.

It is damaging the federal structure and breaking the bond of cooperation. He mentioned that it is changing the basic nature of an intelligence agency and exposing it to public glare. It is exposing the intelligence organization to day to day grind of Police force, running from Court to Court for prosecuting offender. It is tinkering with all such institutions and damaging their capability to perform their task. ‘Guptchar’ is being exposed to become ‘Openchar

He appealed to the Prime Minister to rise to the occasion and cancel the Office Memorandum creating NCTC which is against the Constitutional provision and stop weakening the State Governments who are fighting against terrorism and extremism. He made a fervent appeal to the Prime Minister to work for restoring the trust between the Union Government and States.

Speaking at the Chief Ministers’ conference convened by the Government of India under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the issue of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Shri Modi pointed out that Gujarat is clearly in favour of a strong comprehensive anti-terror law to combat terrorism. However, the State is not in favour of damaging democratic polity and federal structure by creating NCTC to create problems for the State Governments. It is more than obvious that NCTC is all about creating problems in the states and ferment trouble for the State Governments. He said that it is obvious that the present Union Government has hidden political agenda.

“What signals we are going to terrorists by creating a crisis of confidence between the Union Government and States? Why Union Government wants to destroy the federal structure? Why it does not trust the State Governments and its agencies? What does it want to achieve - to fight terrorism or to create crisis in States” he asked the Prime Minister.

Shri Modi further stated that in such operations there is a high probability of collateral damages. How will the NCTC tackle these consequent situations if their actions lead to counter violence, protests, agitations and problems of public order? It would be like the Union Government agencies coming and disturbing a bee-hive and leaving the state agencies to bear all the bee-stings.

Shri Modi said that this august gathering should not be converted into a debating forum rather this occasion should be used to give a clear and strong message that both the Union Government and States are together in the fight against terrorism and extremism. He said that our main priority is to combat terrorism in any form with strong political will.

The Gujarat Chief Minister while commenting on operational effectiveness of the proposed NCTC posed a question about the Union Government’s success to deal with issues like viz. infiltration, arms landing, communication, channelization of funds through havala routes and extradition of terrorists, though the Central organizations are primarily responsible for tackling these issues. He also gave an example how Gujarat Government successfully fought for extradition of a terror accused hiding in UK. He appealed to the Prime Minister to concentrate on these issues which will help in the fight against terrorism and weaken the backbone of terrorism.

Read the complete text speech of Shri Narendra Modi at CMs' meeting on NCTC

He said that States are successfully carrying out operations in nabbing the terrorists. The weak link is right intelligence input from Union Government. He said that he would like to know even a single instance where any State has not cooperated with the Union Government in carrying out operations in the field to nab the terrorists.

Emphasizing on having faith in our constitutional arrangements and the Union – State relationship in a federal structure, he said that we should not focus on legalistic arguments, but rise above technicalities and dwell upon the larger picture of confidence–building between the Centre and states.

Criticizing the Union Government’s tendency to misuse executive machinery, Shri Modi said that the creation of NCTC when seen in the backdrop of recent events in our body-politic assumes significance as a conscious strategy to pursue certain hidden agenda. This is really 
“Kahin pe Nigaahen kahin pe Nishana”, he said sarcastically and mentioned the Union Home Ministry’s failure in preventing terrorist attacks in Delhi.

He mentioned that NIA was created to deal with scheduled offences affecting different States. Within a short span, Union Government came out with NCTC. Similarly, MAC and SMAC were set up to strengthen our intelligence system and now it feels that these mechanisms are inadequate and want that all the intelligence agencies be subsumed in the Intelligence Bureau.

During the last 25 years this country has witnessed series of terror incidents and yet we have not been able to deal with the problem comprehensively, he pointed out. As the States bear the brunt of the menace, the real need is to enhance their capacities. The forces fighting terror at the forefront need strong support and legal backing, Shri Modi suggested.

While entire developed world enacted strong anti-terror laws in post 9/11 terror attack, India was seen repealing POTA. Shri Modi pointed out that the Union Government has still not been able to come out with a comprehensive anti-terrorism legislation. The UPA Government of 2004 repealed POTA depriving the country of the legal shield to fight terror and today it seeks to use the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to create NCTC through back door, thereby depriving States to discharge their responsibilities.

Citing examples of Anti-terrorism Act and legislations in countries like Canada, New Zealand, UK, Japan and Indonesia, Shri Modi said that USA which already had a strong legal framework found it appropriate to enact special laws like the USA PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security Act, SAFETY Act and so on to rise up to the new challenges. However, while these nations were strengthening themselves and sending a strong signal of robust will to fight terror, UPA Government was busy repealing the existing Anti-terror Acts like POTA.

Strongly opposing creation of NCTC in the present form in such a clandestine manner, Shri Modi said that the State Governments must be strengthened and supported in fight against terror. However, what we are witnessing is a systematic attempt to weaken the State Governments and subvert the Constitution just to wield power in States.

Shri Modi also pointed out that the IB, though placed under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is outside the scope of Parliamentary oversight. The creation of NCTC increases the possibility of violation of democratic rights due to co-existence in a single Agency of covert capabilities and direct operational capacities. He wondered why at the conceptual stage, Union Government did not consult States on the issue of creation of NCTC.

Gujarat Minister of State for Home Shri Prafulbhai Patel, Addl. Chief Secretary (Home) Shri Varesh Sinha, Principal Secretary (Law & Order) Shri G C Murmu, Director General of Police Shri Chitaranjan Singh and Resident Commissioner Shri Bharat Lal besides senior officers from State Government attended the meeting.

***

Highlights of CM speech  on NCTC meeting

Preliminary Observations:
  • Recent formation of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) under the Intelligence Bureau has a far reaching consequence.
  • In this context I wrote to the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 17th February, 2012 and thereafter on 9th March, 2012 and 28th March, 2012. I had requested the Prime Minister to organize a separate meeting to thrash out all issues and I am happy that the request has been acceded to.
  • I am not here to make any legal argument; perhaps, there are eminent lawyers present in this gathering, who would be better placed to dwell upon such aspects.
  • I pose a question as to what kind of atmosphere are we building up? Have we lost faith in our constitutional arrangements and the centre-state relationship in a federal structure?
  • Do not evaluate today’s discussions just on the basis of legalistic arguments; let us see the larger picture of rebuilding the confidence between the Centre and states.
  • Piecemeal approach with disjointed efforts will not lead us to desired goal.
  • We would go on creating agencies and organizations and yet fail to achieve the purpose- NIA was created, now creating NCTC.  MAC and SMAC were set up to strengthen our intelligence system, now, we want that all the Intelligence agencies be subsumed in IB.
  • During the last twenty-five years this country has witnessed series of terror incidents. The forces fighting terror at the forefront need strong support and legal backing.
  • I regret to state that though we claim to draw inspiration from initiatives in USA and UK to form NCTC, we have failed to notice post - 9/11 enactments of strong anti-terror laws across the world. Examples- Canada Anti-terrorism Act, 2001, Terrorism Suppression Act, 2002 of New Zealand, Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act, 2001 of UK, Anti-terrorism special measures law 2001 of Japan and Anti-terrorism Law, 2002 of IndonesiaUSA PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security Act, SAFETY Act and so on.
  • While these nations were strengthening themselves and sending a strong signal of robust will to fight terror, we were busy repealing existing Anti-terror Acts like POTA.
  • The UPA Government of 2004 repealed POTA depriving the country of the legal shield to fight terror and today it seeks to use the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to create NCTC through back door, thereby depriving states their rightful role.
  • The Union Government has failed to create a comprehensive anti-terrorism legislation assuggested by the Second ARC’s 8th report.
  • At the same time, the GUJCOC Bill despite being in consonance with the 2nd ARC’s recommendations has not been approved.
 

NCTC: A Grievous Assault on Federalism

  • Fight against terror in all forms has always been the top priority of my government. The state governments must be strengthened and supported in the fight against terror.
  • There is a systematic attempt to weaken the State Governments and to centralize powers in the Union Government, without commensurate accountability.
  • The proposed amendments to the Railway Protection Force Act, the Border Security Force Act, and the Limited Competitive Examination, the Union Government has behaved in a manner which reminds us of the Viceroys of yore.
  • Whenever a serious incident takes place in any state, considering the party in power in that state, different statements are issued. Often it is said that the state government was warned of the ensuing event or sometimes it is stated that it is the responsibility of the state government to deal with the situation.
  • I may say that the Sarkaria Commission has aptly observed that 
    “There is considerable truth in the saying that undue centralisation leads to blood pressure at the Centre and anaemia at the periphery. The inevitable result is morbidity and inefficiency. Indeed, centralisation does not solve but aggravates the problems of the people”.
  • Even, the NCTC is created and arrogated powers by an Executive order. Article 73 of the Constitution of India unambiguously states that the Union Government’s power “shall not extend in any state to matters with respect to which legislature of the state has also powers to make laws”.
  • The Union Government has conveniently overlooked the fact that provisions of the 7th Schedule to the Constitution (Article 246) vests the responsibility for public order, police and criminal administration on the states.
 

NCTC: Union Government’s attempt to misuse executive mechanisms 

  • NCTC was originally conceived in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, it did not form part of the agenda of Chief Minister’s conferences exclusively called to discuss internal security issues on January 06, 2009, August 17, 2009, February 07, 2010, and February 01, 2011.
  • The assertions and assumptions on which the NCTC order has been crafted, casts the Central Government in the role of the omnipresent, omniscient ruler with the states portrayed like dependant vassals;.
  • The Union Government should come to terms with current political realities and change its mindset of seeking to capture political space through devious executive mechanisms.
 

NCTC: An attempt to give backdoor entry to concept of Federal Crime 

  • An attempt is being made to introduce a concept of Federal crime though such concept has not yet been constitutionally validated in this country.
  • An insidious interpretation of sec. 43A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to situate an agency with police powers in the IB.
  • NCTC is namesake of organisation in the USA. Even in USA and UK operational powers not given.
 

NCTC vs. NIA- Another instance of incoherent strategy 

  • The Central Government has conveniently interpreted selective portions of the 2nd ARC Report, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to create NCTC.
  • In the NCTC, we see a curious case wherein an entirely new organization is sought to be created in the guise of operationalising the provision for a ‘Designated Authority’. This goes against the spirit, if not the letter, of the legislation as well as established practices.
  • NIA has been conferred powers to investigate a wide range of offences, including those under The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Why did Union Government not approach Parliament and move an amendment to the NIA Act or seek to confer powers of “Designated Authority” on the Director, NIA? 
 

NCTC: Union Government’s move to arrogate powers and relegate responsibilities

  • A cursory look at the NCTC shows that it is preceded by a slow and insidious process of grafting certain terms and concepts onto the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
  • This provision of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 does not mean that designated authority should be from IB which is subsequently converted as NCTC.
  • Also, the proposed SOP to give the powers of the ‘designated authority’ to the local ATS is another misleading move. It is another backdoor move to subsume even the ATS of the state government in NCTC.
  • NCTC is likely to be incapable of operating and delivering results in such a vast and diverse country unless the local police are fully co-opted.
  • Further, in such operations there is a high probability of collateral damages. How will the NCTC tackle these consequent situations if their actions lead to counter violence, protests, agitations and problems of public order? It would be like the Union Government agencies coming and disturbing a bee-hive and leaving the state agencies to bear all the bee-stings.
 

NCTC - Subsuming MAC or attempt to Subsume State Governments? 

  • It has been stated that the NCTC would subsume MAC and SMAC but I wonder whether under the garb of NCTC the intention is to subsume the state government machinery as well.
  • Though the states are so-called partners in their capacity as members of SMAC, the Union Government has been less than transparent regarding the evaluation of MAC/SMAC and steps taken to remedy the problems and strengthen the MAC mechanism.
  • I would urge the Union Government to come out with a detailed ‘white paper’ on the entire MAC / SMAC experience.

NCTC: A move to disrupt Intelligence Bureau’s equilibrium 

  • Let me describe nature of intelligence as per the raw wisdom and understanding of a common man.
  • Traditionally, intelligence has always been associated with ‘
    Guptchar’
     which has inherent quality of being secret.
  • History tells us about kingdoms across civilisations, where the intelligence operatives were unknown to even members of the royal court.
  • Whether in the Armed forces or outside, intelligence has been a secret service carved out within the setup with extreme caution.
  • Thus, in almost all civilisations and forms of governance, 
    ‘Guptchar vibhag’
     had its own distinct‘tradecraft’ and had occupied a special place.
  • The IB’s role is similar to that of oxygen in the human body - the invisible element that energizes the life forces. Its tradecraft involves use of confidential sources and informants who desire anonymity.
  • The IB being such a 
    ‘Guptchar Vibhag’
     has been the premier and nodal intelligence agency of the country. Does the Union Government want to break this system and make intelligence an 
    ‘Open-char vibhag’
     which will be on display at every junction like a police chowkey?
  • IB-NCTC will be diverted to everyday fire-fighting duties severely eroding its resources and capacities.
  • IB involved in operations will be doomed to spend most of its time running from court to court.
  • The co-operation of all sister intelligence agencies may be adversely affected as there will be lack of initiative by these organisations.
  • The IB, though placed under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is outside the scope of Parliamentary oversight and the RTI Act.
  • The creation of NCTC increases the possibility of violation of democratic rights due to co-existence in a single Agency of covert capabilities and direct operational capacities.
  • May revive the memories of the dark days of Emergency in 1975-’77 when intelligence agencies were misused to subjugate popular movements and intimidate political rivals.
  • NCTC will signal decay of carefully created premier institution like IB.
 

NCTC:  Eroding status and strength of state police

  • The framers of the Constitution, while making law and order as a state subject, understood the reality that local police conversant with the lay of the land and the people.
  • The Union Government has been systematically eroding the capabilities of State police forces and particularly the State Intelligence and Special Branches.
  • Human intelligence [HUMINT] is at the core of any effective counter-terrorism strategy.
  • If the states lack certain capacities and competencies in terms of intelligence, equipment, training, trade craft, resources, communications etc. the Centre should come forward to meet these infirmities.
  • The State police forces are put in precarious position of having to deal with the consequences of the unilateral acts of the NCTC. It will not be an exaggeration to state that State police will be tasked to clean-up the post operation mess.
  • There is strong doubt even of operational effectiveness of the NCTC. In the case of the Batla House encounter of 19th September 2008 wherein even years after the incident the Union Government seems uncertain whether or not it is a genuine encounter between terrorists and the Delhi Police, which functions under MHA, GoI.
  • Moreover, the country is still not sure whether the Union Government sheds tears for the slain martyrs like Inspector Shri Mohan Chand Sharma or for the Indian Mujahideen terrorists who were behind a series of terror incidents across the country.
  • This is the same Union Government which puts pressure on the investigating agency to stop its search and seizure operations in the aftermath of the Mumbai train attacks of 2006 due to perceived political compulsions.
  • We should not give signal showing our weakness to the forces of terror. It is high time that were-establish a bond of confidence among states and the stake holders which will be our true shield against the forces of terror.
  • I strongly urge that the NCTC be rolled back.

NCTC: Talking Point (Shorter Form)

Preliminary Observations:
  • I am not here to make any legal argument; perhaps, there are eminent lawyers present in this gathering, who would be better placed to dwell upon such aspects.
  • Do not evaluate today’s discussions just on the basis of legalistic arguments; let us see the larger picture of rebuilding the confidence between the Centre and states.
  • The forces fighting terror at the forefront need strong support and legal backing.
  • I regret to state that though we claim to draw inspiration from initiatives in USA and UK to form NCTC, we have failed to notice post - 9/11 enactments of strong anti-terror laws across the world. Examples- Canada Anti-terrorism Act, 2001, Terrorism Suppression Act, 2002 of New Zealand, Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act, 2001 of UK, Anti-terrorism special measures law 2001 of Japan and Anti-terrorism Law, 2002 of IndonesiaUSA PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security Act, SAFETY Act and so on.
  • While these nations were strengthening themselves and sending a strong signal of robust will to fight terror, we were busy repealing existing Anti-terror Acts like POTA.
  • The Union Government has failed to create a comprehensive anti-terrorism legislation assuggested by the Second ARC’s 8th report.
  • The UPA Government seeks to use the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to create NCTC through back door, thereby depriving states their rightful role.
  • At the same time, the GUJCOC Bill despite being in consonance with the 2nd ARC’s recommendations has not been approved.
 

NCTC: A Grievous Assault on Federalism

  • There is a systematic attempt to weaken the State Governments and to centralize powersin the Union Government, without commensurate accountability.
  • The proposed amendments to the Railway Protection Force Act, the Border Security Force Act, and the Limited Competitive Examination, the Union Government has behaved in a manner which reminds us of the Viceroys of yore.
  • Whenever a serious incident takes place in any state, considering the party in power in that state, different statements are issued. Often it is said that the state government was warnedof the ensuing event or sometimes it is stated that it is the responsibility of the state government to deal with the situation.
  • I may say that the Sarkaria Commission has aptly observed that 
    “There is considerable truth in the saying that undue centralisation leads to blood pressure at the Centre and anaemia at the periphery. The inevitable result is morbidity and inefficiency. Indeed, centralisation does not solve but aggravates the problems of the people”.
  • Even, the NCTC is created and arrogated powers by an Executive order.
  • The Union Government has conveniently overlooked the fact that law and order and Police are state subjects.
 

NCTC: Union Government’s attempt to misuse executive mechanisms 

  • The Union Government should come to terms with current political realities and change its mindset of seeking to capture political space through devious executive mechanisms.
  • NCTC was originally conceived in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, it did not form part of the agenda of Chief Minister’s conferences exclusively called to discuss internal security issues on January 06, 2009, August 17, 2009, February 07, 2010, and February 01, 2011.
  • The assertions and assumptions on which the NCTC order has been crafted, casts the Central Government in the role of the omnipresent, omniscient ruler with the states portrayed like dependant vassals;.
  • NCTC: An attempt to give backdoor entry to concept of Federal Crime
  • NCTC is namesake of organisation in the USA. Even in USA and UK operational powers not given.

NCTC is another instance of incoherent strategy.

  • The Central Government has conveniently interpreted selective portions of the 2nd ARC Report, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to create NCTC.
  • We would go on creating agencies and organizations and yet fail to achieve the purpose- NIAwas created, now creating NCTC.  MAC and SMAC were set up to strengthen our intelligence system, now, we want that all the Intelligence agencies be subsumed in IB.
  • NIA has been conferred powers to investigate a wide range of offences, including those under The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Why did Union Government not approach Parliament and move an amendment to the NIA Act or seek to confer powers of “Designated Authority” on the Director, NIA? 
 

NCTC: Union Government’s move to arrogate powers and relegate responsibilities 

  • A cursory look at the NCTC shows that it is preceded by a slow and insidious process of grafting certain terms and concepts onto the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
  • This provision does not mean that designated authority should be from IB which is subsequently converted as NCTC.
  • Also, the proposed SOP to give the powers of the ‘designated authority’ to the local ATS is another misleading move. It is another backdoor move to subsume even the ATS of the state government in NCTC.
  • Further, in such operations there is a high probability of collateral damages. How will the NCTC tackle these consequent situations if their actions lead to counter violence, protests, agitations and problems of public order? It would be like the Union Government agencies coming and disturbing a bee-hive and leaving the state agencies to bear all the bee-stings. 

NCTC - Subsuming MAC or attempt to Subsume State Governments? 

  • It has been stated that the NCTC would subsume MAC and SMAC but I wonder whether under the garb of NCTC the intention is to subsume the state government machinery as well.
  • The Union Government has been less than transparent regarding the evaluation of MAC/SMAC and steps taken to remedy the problems and strengthen the MAC mechanism.
  • I would urge the Union Government to come out with a detailed ‘white paper’ on the entire MAC / SMAC experience.
 

NCTC: A move to disrupt Intelligence Bureau’s equilibrium 

  • Let me describe nature of intelligence as per the raw wisdom and understanding of a common man.
  • Traditionally, intelligence has always been associated with ‘
    Guptchar’
     which has inherent quality of being secret.
  • History tells us about kingdoms across civilisations, where the intelligence operatives were unknown to even members of the royal court.
  • Whether in the Armed forces or outside, intelligence has been a secret service carved out within the setup with extreme caution.
  • Thus, in almost all civilisations and forms of governance, 
    ‘Guptchar vibhag’
     had its own distinct ‘tradecraft’ and had occupied a special place.
  • The IB’s role is similar to that of oxygen in the human body - the invisible element that energizes the life forces. Its tradecraft involves use of confidential sources and informants who desire anonymity.
  • The IB being such a 
    ‘Guptchar Vibhag’
     has been the premier and nodal intelligence agency of the country. Does the Union Government want to break this system and make intelligence an
    ‘Open-char vibhag’
     which will be on display at every junction like a police chowkey?
  • IB-NCTC will be diverted to everyday fire-fighting duties severely eroding its resources and capacities.
  • IB involved in operations will be doomed to spend most of its time running from court to court.
  • The co-operation of all sister intelligence agencies may be adversely affected as there will be lack of initiative by these organisations.

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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed sadness over the untimely demise of actor Vivek.
April 17, 2021
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed sadness over the untimely demise of actor Vivek.

In a tweet, Shri Modi said "The untimely demise of noted actor Vivek has left many saddened. His comic timing and intelligent dialogues entertained people. Both in his films and his life, his concern for the environment and society shone through. Condolences to his family, friends and admirers. Om Shanti."