Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said human rights of the citizens of the country should be protected while setting up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Manipur Information Centre Jt Director Meghachandra Kongbam on Sunday gave details of the statement made by the chief minister during a meeting on NCTC at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi yesterday.
Chief Minister Ibobi said, ‘It is the bounden duty of the Government to protect the basic human rights of our people while granting unbounded powers to NCTC to arrest under section 43A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.’
He suggested that the NCTC officials should share the intelligence with the state police and carry out operations for arresting and detaining any person suspected of indulging in terrorist activities.
The person arrested should be handed over to the nearest police station and interrogated jointly.
He further stated, ‘There is a similar provision in the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and in many cases of human rights abuse have been reported.’
He added the state government was in agreement with the Union Government’s decision to set up the NCTC as an institutional mechanism for independent and autonomous collection of counter terrorism intelligence and to take firm and timely action for tackling terrorism and terror-related activities of subversive and anti-national elements.
Mr Ibobi observed people are facing a serious internal security challenge posed by a multitude of militant groups indulging in subversive and anti-national activities and terrorizing people for extortions, kidnappings for ransom, threat and intimidation to officials and contractors engaged in the development process.
The extortions by the NSCN (IM) cadres from transporters along the National Highways in the state are rampant despite the deployment of security forces and the state police personnel.
Work on national projects like laying railway tracks from Jiribam to Tupul and Imphal has been seriously hampered by demands from the militants, he said.
He further stated, ‘The scantily guarded porous India-Myanmar border enables the militant groups to induct sophisticated arms and ammunition undetected.
The CM pointed out that under section 2(e) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the state home secretary is notified as the ‘Designated Authority’.
As such, Manipur chief minister disagreed with the MHA’s proposal to confer such powers on the heads of Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) as it took away the element of independent assessment and pushed the state government to margins. The primary responsibility should stay with the state, he added.
He drew attention to para 3.4 of the Memorandum constituting NCTC empowering it to requisition the services of the National Security Guards (NSG) or any other Special Forces.
He opined that it would be appropriate for NCTC to obtain State Governments’ concurrence in all such cases. (UNI)