NCTC, Kasab, Naxal violence keep Home Ministry busy

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Sushilkumar Shinde
New Delhi, Dec 30: Controversy over setting up of an anti-terror hub, Ajmal Kasab's hanging and a change of guard were some highlights of 2012 in Home Ministry, whose mandarins were kept busy by strong public protests over the gangrape and death of a 23-year-old student at the fag end of the year.

There was relative calm in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast, barring Assam, during the year but violence perpetrated by Maoists in central and eastern states continued to haunt the security establishment which, despite deployment of about 80,000 paramilitary personnel, have not been successful in containing one of the bloodiest underground movements in the country.

After President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Kasab's mercy petition, the government in a highly secret operation hanged the LeT terrorist, who carried out the Mumbai terror attacks.

However, despite India's regular prodding, Pakistan is yet to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 living in that country to justice and its Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who visited New Delhi this month, only tried to put blame on India by saying its security agencies have failed to prevent the 2008 terror strike.

P Chidambaram, whose three-year tenure saw a complete overhaul of the country's security establishment, was shifted to the other wing of the North Block as Finance Minister on August 1 and Sushilkumar Shinde replaced him.

During his tenure, Chidambaram tried to set up the National Counter Terrorism Centre but faced strong opposition from chief ministers like Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), J Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat) and Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), who feared such a body would interfere with the states' affairs and hurt the country's federal structure.

PTI

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