'Central Agency must investigate federal crimes'

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New Delhi, Nov 30: Highlighting the problems faced by the government in investigating acts of terrorism, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today stressed the need for creating a Central agency to investigate federal crimes.

Chairing a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Home Ministry on the subject of 'Central Law Enforcement Agency/ Federal Investigation Agency' here, Mr Patil said whenever some incident of terrorism takes place in a state, the Centre was expected to take action but police and public order being State subjects the Centre has only a limited span of activity on this.

''It has, therefore, become necessary to discuss the need for a Central agency to investigate certain types of crime and the manner in which it should be done,'' Mr Patil said.

Taking part in the meeting, members stressed the need for a central agency to investigate cases of terrorism and other related crimes that have inter-state and international ramification. They were of the view that such crimes should be clearly defined and a proper law framed for a central agency to investigate such cases.

However, the final decision in this regard should be taken after consultation with state governments, they said.

The members who participated in the meeting included Mr Lalhmingliana, D Raja, K Malaisamy of the Rajya Sabha and Manoranjan Bhakta, Sarbananda Sonowal and Mohan Singh of the Lok Sabha.

Ministers of State for Home Manikrao H Gavit and Radhika Selvi also participated in the meeting along with Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta.

The matter has already been discussed at several committees and fora, but most of the state governments had earlier opposed the setting of Central Agency as they fear it would curtail their power and authority. The process of consultation on the subject would continue and the next meeting of the Consultative Committee would also discuss the same issue.


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