New Delhi: Amid the state governments fuming over Centre’s decision to set up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) which is due to be operational from March 1st, the Centre is planning to authorise the NSG (National Security Guards) to conduct search operations and arrest of suspects across the country.

Citing its contributions in fighting the terrorists during 26/11 Mumbai attacks on Taj Hotel and Hotel Trident, the NSG has asked the centre to empower it with such rights which are necessary to tackle the menace of terrorism in the country.  Although the NSG had succeeded in killing all the terrorists during its operations that time, but it would not have been able to arrest a terrorist if any of them had been caught alive.  In that case NSG was expected to wait for the local police to come and arrest the surviving terrorist. Ajmal Amir Kasab was the lone surviving attacker who was arrested by Mumbai police.

In a letter to the Union Home Ministry, the NSG has made it clear that there is no point in waiting for the local police for the arrest of the terrorists during anti-terrorist operations. Hence, it must have the right to arrest them during a live operation after which the nabbed terrorists can be handed over to the local police.

NSG letter says that without having this power, it will be very difficult for it to carry out its operations effectively.

It is to be noted, the army was given a similar right under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
According to a senior official of the Home Ministry, the NSG which provides VVIP security besides tackling terror attacks across the country deserves to have the right to arrest and the ministry is contemplating to grant the power sought by the latter.

However, he maintained silence on the NCTC which is set to be operational from March 1st amid its hanging fate due to the vehement protests by the Chief Ministers of several states including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

(Niloo Ranjan/JPN)