It is surprising that even before the newly constituted National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) could begin functioning, some of the states have raised their voices against the organization. The NCTC which will get functional from 1st March is already facing resistance from states like West Bengal and Odisha who feel that the new organisation may encroach upon their rights. While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee has fired a letter to the Centre asking why she was not consulted prior to the formation and delegation of responsibilities to the NCTC, Naveen Patnaik is garnering support of other chief ministers against the organization. As a result some more states are likely to join the protest against the NCTC.

However the Home Ministry, that played a major role in the formation of the organization, has clarified that a permanent standing committee will include the state heads of anti-terror squads and will work on co-ordination among states. However, it remains surprising that why the government felt no need for consulting the states before the formation of the NCTC? The fear among the states that the new organization will have the right to act irrespective of states’ permission is merely a result of Centre’s failure in not consulting the states before the formation of an important instrument like NCTC. Such fears must be addressed and the argument that the problems will emerge only after the NCTC gets functional cannot be taken.

No matter how effective the Centre is, it cannot unilaterally change the federal structure without taking the states into confidence. One the other hand the states should not be too sensitive towards their rights. Although law and order is a state subject, menace of Naxalism and terrorism cannot be countered until and unless there is a strong federal institution. Need for such a system has become more necessary because the states have failed miserably in handling the challenges to the internal security. States want to seek maximum help from the Centre but hesitate in leaving any ground for the central agencies. Such an approach by the states will not help solve the problem of internal security. Both Naxalism and terrorism pose serious threat to internal security. Recently, Cabinet minister Jairam Ramesh said that a parallel government of Maoists exists in 17 districts of Jharkhand and accused the state of seeking the help of Maoists. How true these allegations are is a matter of investigation, but the Centre and the states seem to be poles apart when it comes to matters of internal security.