CM leaves Imphal for NCTC meet

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IMPHAL, May 4: The Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and state Home Minister Gaikhangam left Imphal today for New Delhi to attend the crucial NCTC meeting being held tomorrow.

The Chief Minister and the Home Minister was accompanied by the state Chief Secretary DS Poonia and Director General of Police Ratnakar Baral.

Earlier this week, the home minister had said the draft of the two SOPs for operating the NCTC were circulated to the states and they would allay many apprehensions of the chief ministers who have expressed their concerns.

“I think if the chief ministers will read (the SOPs), I believe they will read, much of the doubts will be dissolved and at the (May 5) meeting if they have any suggestion on the SOPs, we are willing to listen to those suggestions, incorporate as many as possible,” Chidambaram had said, adding that fighting terrorism was a shared responsibility of the states and the Centre.

The home ministry has sent the draft SOPs listing powers and functions of the anti-terror hub`s standing council, which will have representatives of all state governments and the Centre.

DGPs or chiefs of Anti Terrorists Squad of all states will be members of the standing council of the NCTC and before any anti-terror operation is conducted, the NCTC would take into confidence the concerned state`s police officers.

Agencies add: The Centre will try its best to get a nod from chief ministers to set up the controversial anti-terror hub National Counter Terrorism Centre at Saturday`s crucial meeting which is expected to witness fiery scenes.

Non-Congress chief ministers such as Odisha`s Naveen Patnaik, Tamil Nadu`s J Jayalalithaa and Gujarat`s Narendra Modi are likely to oppose the formation of the National Counter Terrorism Centre at the chief ministers` conference despite the Centre`s assurance that state governments will be taken into confidence before any operation is conducted in any state.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram are expected to allay the apprehensions of some of the chief ministers who had opposed the NCTC saying it would encroach upon the states` powers and hurt the federal structure of the country.

Sources said United Progressive Alliance ally and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may lower their opposition and are likely to come on board for setting up the NCTC.

The agenda papers say the standing council will meet as often as necessary and may also meet through video conference.

The standing council shall ensure that NCTC is the single and effective point of control and coordination of all counter terrorism measures.

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