Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Friday the threat perception in the country continued to be high,and delay in setting up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) would only increase the security risk.
Given the gravity of the situation,everyday we delay NCTC,we increase our risk, said Chidambaram,while replying to the Consultative Committee members. The ministers observation came days after the Centre faced strong opposition from the chief ministers on establishment of NCTC.
Naxalism and insurgency in Northeast are now becoming terrorist in nature and we need institutional mechanism to deal with it, said Chidambaram. 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, he said.
During the recent conference,the CMs had argued that such an institution would hurt the federal structure of the country and infringe on the states powers. Chidambaram said the Centre assured the states that it would go into their concerns on locating NCTC in the Intelligence Bureau and deciding on its operational powers.
He said apart from subversive activities of militant groups in Northeast and violence perpetrated by Left Wing Extremist groups in some states,the growing concern remained on combating cross-border terrorism. The Home minister said the counter-terrorism structure in place consisted of Multi-Agency Centre and Subsidiary Multi-Agency Centres,National Investigation Agency and National Security Guards.
Those being put in place are NATGRID and Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System. The Centre for Counter Terrorism is not in place, he told the committee.
The members of the committee suggested stopping of hawala funds and expressed concern over spread of opium and other drugs and growing terrorism in Punjab,linking it with Pakistan.