The brainstorming session on June 2, 2012 at IPF seminar hall whether we need National Counter Terrorism Center as proposed by the Union government ended inconclusive. Experts were divided on the issue as scholars from Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis and Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) argued against the formation of the NCTC. P K Upadhyaya, Sr fellow from IDSA, felt there was a need for police reforms, strengthening policing, moderninsing police forces and our intelligence modules rather than creating one more organisation under IB and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Dr Ajit Kumar from ICM found the proposed NCTC as gross violation of federal principles. Sh RNP Singh, formerly associated with IB and presently Sr fellow VIF, stressed the need to form NCTC. He said, You can’t compare Terror with law & order problems, whatever the name you give it, whatever genuine changes you may demand, but NCTC is essential to fight terrorism.” Onkareshwar Pandey, Managing editor, Sunday Indian, argued that prosecution rate of terror accused in India is merely 6 per cent while the rate in US is 94 per cent. He remarked, “you can’t leave the terror threat, their investigation, intelligence inputs and fastest actions on the state police and administration since the nature of threat perception and operation has underwent a complete change.”
Prof Rakesh Sinha, Hony. Director, IPF, described NCTC as “intellectually honest but political dishonest move by the Union government.” He said that no one denies the grave challenges of terrorism. But the politically motivated use of investigative agencies, terror laws and mechanism made the state suspicious to the extent that the government might misuse it against its political opponents as during the Emergency eminent political leaders were declared ‘national threat’. Prof Sinha in his concluding note said that fractured polity and now fractured civil society created more confusion. He said, “We are moving towards ‘polarised opinion’ even on the most sensitive question of national security.
For instance, what led UP CM to declare the terror accused as ‘innocents’ and released them from prison.” If they are innocent then those who arrested must be brought to book. He said that while dealing with terror cases consideration of religion or community should not be allowed to prevail. If terrorists would be designated as religious symbols, the civil society would lose its validity.