M A I N   N E W S

Nitish writes to PM against NCTC
Bill to regulate intel bodies gathers dust
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, February 20
The anti-NCTC (National Counter Terrorism Centre) chorus grew louder with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today becoming the 13th leader from non-Congress-ruled states to oppose the anti-terror body.

The criticism centres on the perceived misuse of sweeping powers to the Intelligence Bureau that will control the   NCTC. The states also fear infringement on their right to maintain law and order.

The rising cacophony apart, a bill is pending in Parliament to regulate, oversee and monitor central intelligence agencies. The Intelligence services (Powers and Regulation) Bill, introduced by Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari last year, aims to provide a legislative and regulatory framework for the IB and other agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the National Technical Research Organization (NTRO). “The Bill was to come up for discussion last year. I hope it does now,” Tewari told The Tribune.

The Bihar CM, who shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanded the Centre re-examine the whole subject and roll back the proposal. He said the decision was “unilateral and hasty.”

“The NCTC is created within the IB which is a secret intelligence organisation without any accountability to Parliament...Even the British didn’t allow this (during pre-independence era),” wrote the Bihar CM. Kumar took the same line as advocated by B Raman, a former head of the counter-terrorism division, RAW. Raman said the only secret service to have such vast powers was the KGB of the erstwhile USSR.

The Bihar CM sought to remind the PM that “eminent political leaders were branded as threats to national security and put behind bars (under the now repealed Maintenance of Internal Security Act) during the Emergency of 1975-77.” 

Spy world
* Manish Tewari’s Bill introduced last year aims to have a National Intelligence and Security Oversight Committee for an effective oversight mechanism over IB, RAW and NTRO

* NISOC is proposed to be headed by Rajya Sabha Chairman.





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