Omar to oppose clause on exclusive operations

Omar to oppose clause on exclusive operations

3 May 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: A high level delegation from the State would attend the Chief Ministers’ Conference on National Centre for Terrorism Control (NCTC) convened by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on May 5. While some members of the delegation have already reached New Delhi, others would make it to the Union capital tomorrow. The delegation would be led by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and comprised Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani, Chief Secretary Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary Home B R Sharma and Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda. The conference is being held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Mr Abdullah was already camping in New Delhi attending upon his ailing father and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah. Mr Wani and the bureaucrats would be reaching New Delhi tomorrow. Official sources told the Excelsior that the State delegation would comprise two political leaders and three top bureaucrats, it would be only the Chief Minister, who would be addressing the one day conference on NCTC. In addition to the Chief Minister, Home Ministers of all States, Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries and police chiefs have also been allowed to attend the conference to keep their Chief Ministers’ briefed on the situation and listen to views of the CMs’ of different States. They said the Union Home Ministry has allowed Home Ministers and top bureaucrats of the State to join the conference so that they, along with the Chief Ministers, were well versed not only with the NCTC but also with the views of the Chief Ministers on the issue. Sources said the State Government has received the draft proposal on NCTC including Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah would be making his views public, for the first time, at the national forum on the NCTC though he had raked up the issue in the Legislative Assembly while replying to debate on the grants of his Departments on March 29. According to sources, out of three major clauses in the NCTC, the State Government has made it clear that it has no objections to joint Intelligence sharing and joint Intelligence analysis on the ground that it was already being done by the Central and the State agencies on various issues. However, as far as the issue of undertaking suo moto operations by the NCTC was concerned, the Chief Minister has made known his objections on the issue. Omar has made it clear that this clause was not acceptable to the State like many other Chief Ministers including United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government ally Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal and Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal. Sources said the Chief Minister would propose that NCTC along with Jammu and Kashmir Police could take up joint operations, if required but exclusive operations without knowledge of JKP were not acceptable. 'This was, in fact, the main clause, which was being opposed by most of the Chief Ministers especially those heading the non-Congress Governments in various States as they felt that this would erode sovereignty of the States’’, they said. Sources said the State was of the view that the NCTC could either inform Jammu and Kashmir Police on undertaking operation at a particular place and then the State cops could execute the task or the NCTC could take local police into confidence and conduct joint operations. 'This was the only solution to the controversial clause’’, they said. On joint Intelligence sharing and joint analysis of the situation by the State agencies with the NCTC, sources pointed out that all Intelligence agencies of the State were already co-ordinating with the Central agencies in all aspects-be it militancy operations, hawala related actions or money laundering etc. They pointed out that a number of militants have been arrested after crossing the border from Bangladesh-West Bengal or Nepal-Uttar Pradesh by security forces or police on the basis of information provided by Jammu and Kashmir Police. Similarly, JKP has captured many militants and hawala operators on inputs of the Central agencies. The recent arrest of nine Kashmiri militants with their nine Pakistani wives and 22 children from Uttar Pradesh on Indo-Nepal border by Sahastra Suraksha Bal (SSB) jawans was also based on inputs by the Intelligence agencies, sources said. Ahead of the Chief Ministers’ conference on NCTC, Mr Chidambaram has already tried to allay apprehensions of the CMs of all States that the NCTC was not meant to erode sovereignty of the States or dilute their powers but it was being constituted only to tackle the menace of terrorism. The Central Government had already constituted the National Investigating Agency (NIA), which has been working out various militancy related incidents having national or international ramifications including Delhi High Court blast in which 14 civilians were killed and 80 others were injured. Sources said the Chief Minister during his speech on NCTC could also reiterate his demand for partial withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some parts of the State. He would also oppose the proposed amendments to the BSF Act. He had raised both these issues in an internal security meeting in New Delhi last month. .