New Delhi: Reiterating their stand on the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), non-Congress-ruled states on Monday strongly opposed the NCTC by alleging that it will restrict the functioning of the state police force.

Civil officers from Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Bihar at a high-level meeting chaired by Home Secretary RK Singh on Monday expressed serious concerns over the issue by saying it has unbridled powers over the state police which is not acceptable. States Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries and Police Chiefs were also present in the meeting.

Over a dozen Chief Ministers including Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik, Nitish Kumar Narendra Kumar had already opposed the creation of the NCTC, maintaining that it would hurt the federal structure of the country. Naveen Patnaik and J Jayalalitha have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers to discuss the sensitive issue.

Earlier on March 1, following the strong protest, the Centre has put on hold the operationalisation of the NCTC and decided to discuss the issue with the state governments.

However, the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in a letter to ten Chief Ministers had assured that a final call on the NCTC will be taken only after the consultation with the Chief Ministers. Chidambaram in his letter contended that empowering the NCTC with Section 43 (A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act would not infringe on the states powers. Section 43(A) of Act gives an officer power to arrest and search.

Sources also said that support for the NCTC came from Congress-ruled states.

Chiefs of anti-terror units of the states were also present at the meeting.