NCTC row: Chidambaram writes to chief ministers

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NEW DELHI, Feb.24 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has reportedly written a letter to the chief ministers of ten states, explaining the UPA Government`s premise for setting up a National Counter Terrorism Agency by the first week of March.

A Home Ministry release said Chidambaram has written to the chief ministers of Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, in order to address their concerns on the anti-terror agency as per the directions of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

“The PM has expressed concern. This is an issue of national importance. All of us are agreed that terrorism is a grave threat to our country, which we all have to deal with. Fighting terror is a shared responsibility,” he told the protesting chief ministers.

It maybe recalled that these chief ministers had strongly objected to the establishment of the NCTC, saying it was in violation of the federal structure that India represents, and insisted that since law and order is a state subject, state governments need to be consulted on the issue.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

Singh assured Banerjee that he would ask Chidambaram to address their concerns.

Chidambaram said on Friday that he had asked Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh to hold consultations with all state police chiefs and heads of anti-terror organisations and added that he will be happy to receive comments from the state governments on the issue.

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