No revival of POTA, will strengthen IB: Govt

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New Delhi, Sep 18: The Government has decided to strengthen the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the State police mechanism and set up a Research and Technical Centre within the IB to deal with terrorist activities, but has categorically ruled out bringing back the 'draconian' Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

''We are not bringing back POTA at all. It is a draconian law against human rights,'' Information and Broadcasing Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told newspersons on Thursday, Sep 18. Dasmunsi said the Government had set up a group of special officers which were looking into the report of the Administrative Reforms Commission, which suggested a tougher anti-terrorist law.

''The group will also look into the demand for a Federal Investigaive Agency to deal with terrorism,'' he added.

On the demand for banning Bajrang Dal, he said the Government was carefully watching their activities in Karnataka and Orissa and an appropriate time would come to deal with them.

''The Government is open to talks (on banning Bajrang Dal),'' he said.

Briefing newspersons on the special Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Sep 17 evening to take stock of the overll security scenario in the country and recent blasts in Delhi, Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta said the Government had decided to strengthen the IB, the counter-intelligence mechanism and the State police mechanism.

The Government, he said, had accepted the Delhi Police demand and sanctioned 7,612 additional posts to operationalise eleven more police station in the capital in the current fiscal. As many as 130 extra vehicles had also been sanctioned to complement PCR vans, and 58 border posts identified in addition to the existing 27.

He said the Cabinet, which discussed the proposals on the basis of the note prepared by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, came to the conclusion that terrorism was not a State matter alone and the Centre should cooperate with the States in dealing with the scourge.

The Centre would provide equipment for intelligence, vigilance and surveillance to the States.

It would be mandatory for States to set up closed circuit TV (CCTV) sets at places where a large number of people congregate such as malls and mulitplexes to provide minimum necessary benchmark security system, he said.

He said the Research and Technical Centre would help in analysing the terror attack and what lessons could be drawn from them to strengthen the intelligence system.


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