Centre to consult states on federal agency to investigate terrorism

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (UNI) The centre is trying to evolve a consensus with states on the issue of having a Central Agency to investigate cases of terrorism and other related crimes that have inter-state and international ramifications, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said today.

Addressing a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Home Ministry to discuss the subject of 'Central Law Enforcement Agency/Federal Investigation Agency', Mr Patil said that whenever some incident takes place in a state, the Centre is expected to take action, but police and public order being state Subjects under the Constitution, the Centre has its limitations.

''It is therefore, necessary to discuss the issue of Central agencies to investigate certain types of crimes and to counter terrorism, and the manner in which it should be done, with the states, and this is being done. However, the decision in this respect can be taken up after developing a necessary consensus,'' he said.

He also reiterated the Central government's resolve to assist state governments through deployment of para-military forces, providing funds for police modernisation etc but he hoped that states would take time bound steps to fill up the vacancies in their police forces, and to further augment them.

Some members stressed the need for such central agency but also highlighted the importance of taking the state governments into confidence on this subject. It was suggested that final decision on the form and functions of a possible Central Agency should be taken after consultation with state governments. More meetings to discuss the matter with the Chief Ministers of the states may also be considered if need be.

The Members also stressed upon the need for strengthening the existing intelligence and police apparatus in the states to deal with such crimes as terrorism, espionage, naxalite attacks etc.

The members who attended today's meeting included Nikhil Kumar, Mohanbhai Delkar, and Khagen Das of the Lok Sabha and Dr K Malaisamy, Mahmood A Madani and D Raja of the Rajya Sabha.

Ministers of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal, Dr Shakeel Ahmed and V Radhika Selvi and Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta were among those present at the meeting.

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