NEW DELHI, May 11 � Making a strong case for setting up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said Naxalism and insurgency in the North-east are now becoming terrorist in nature and the country needs an institutional mechanism to deal with it.
The Home Minister was addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry. �The threat perception of terrorism in the country continues to be high and we need an institutional mechanism to tackle it. Given the gravity of the situation, every day we delay the NCTC, we increase our risk,� Chidambaram said.
The proposal for the NCTC was shot down recently at the conference of Chief Ministers and the proposal has since been pushed into the cold storage.
�We need to counter terrorism not just as a police operation but we need a counter terrorism organisation that mobilises all elements of national power; diplomatic, financial, investigative, intelligence and police. We need a counter terrorism body like the NCTC or a similar organisation,� he argued.
He explained that apart from subversive activities of militant groups in the North-east and violence perpetrated by left wing extremist group in some States, the growing concern remains on combating cross-border terrorism. He said the Government is committed to ensuring that perpetrators of terrorist activities and their masterminds and conspirators are brought to justice and that prosecution and sentencing to the fullest extent of the law are ensured.
Earlier, while initiating the discussion, the Union Home Minister said that the counter-terrorism structure in place consists of the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) and Subsidiary Multi Agency Centres (SMAC), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and National Security Guards (NSG). Those being put in place are NATGRID and Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS). The Centre for Counter Terrorism is not in place.
The policy of the Government is to undertake intelligence-based operations to neutralise terrorist and espionage cells. This is done in a coordinated and sustained manner by the Central and State security and intelligence agencies.
As a result of the coordination action by the Central and State intelligence and security agencies, 51 Pak-backed terrorist/espionage modules have been detected/neutralised in various parts of the country.