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NCTC to begin work from March 1

New Delhi, Feb 7 (): National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), a pet project of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram got the approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) three weeks ago.

In a step aimed at strengthening various counter-terrorism measures, the government has decided to operationalize the ambitious NCTC from March 1.

NCTC is the country’s specialized anti-terror body. According to the project, the operations division of the counter-terrorism body has been given powers to arrest and carry out searches under Section 43 (A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

It is a powerful anti-terror agency that will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats in India and will have legal authority to make arrests and conduct search operations.

The NCTC will also have the power to seek information, including documents, reports, transcripts, and cyber information from any agency, including from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency, NATGRID, National Technical Research Organization, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and all seven central armed police forces including the National Security Guard (NSG).

The NCTC will maintain a comprehensive data base of terrorists and their associates; friends, families and supporters; of terrorist modules and gangs and all information pertaining to terrorists.

Initially, the NCTC will be located in the Intelligence Bureau and headed by a director, who will be an officer in the rank of additional director, IB. It will have three units – gathering intelligence, analysis of intelligence and carrying out operations – and each of these divisions would be headed by a joint director of Intelligence Bureau.

The agency has worked out on the model of a similar body in US, aimed at combating terrorism by collecting and analysing threats, sharing the inputs and information with other agencies and converting these into actionable data.

“The NCTC will fulfil this need, also ensure that it does not duplicate the roles of other agencies and work through the existing agencies in the country,’’ official sources said.

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