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Chidambaram says trust deficit blocking NCTC

Delhi,Politics,Defence/Security, Tue, 17 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday sounded confident about getting the states to agree to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) but regretted that some states were harbouring mistrust towards the central government which was blocking setting up of the key anti-terror intelligence hub.


"We will resolve differences between some states and the central government. It's regrettable that after five conferences, some states harbour distrust with the central government," Chidambaram told reporters here, a day after non-Congress chief ministers at an internal security meeting strongly opposed the idea to have a centralised anti-terror agency.


The home minister, however, hoped the differences between the states and the central government would be removed at a scheduled May 5 meeting to discuss the issue.


"We are circulating the SOPs (standard operating procedures) draft to the state chief ministers before the May 5 meeting (on NCTC) and we will resolve the differences with some states and the centre," Chidambaram said.


The home minister said the central government was ready to step back on some issues related to internal security, provided states accept greater responsibilities.


"If the states are willing to accept more responsibility and raise more forces then we can step back. If the states can handle Naxals (Maoist) related issues, we can step back. But the states do not have the number and quality of security and the weapons," the home minister said.


The home minister said the central government was even ready to move paramilitary forces from states. "The central police forces are an interception force and not for deploying yearlong. They are to be deployed for short periods and then pulled back."


He said the the home ministry was also ready to procure equipments for the states. "Any state wanting to procure equipment that we are procuring, we are willing to procure."


The Monday meeting was to focus on strengthening intelligence mechanism and capabilities to fight Maoists and terrorists. But the issue of NCTC hijacked the day-long conference with the chief ministers of Gujarat, Odisha and Tamil Nadu -- Narendra Modi, Naveen Patnaik and J. Jayalalithaa -- lambasting the central government for its security overreach and ignoring states on key security-related decisions.


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