Karela Fry

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Who can violate a state’s rights?

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The Union government’s proposal for a National Counter Terrorism Centre was strongly opposed by many Chief Ministers. Outlook reported the Karnatak Chief Minister’s misgivings:

Karnataka Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda today said powers of the proposed NCTC “undoubtedly” amount to interference in the domain of the state governments.

Speaking at the Chief Ministers’ conference on National Counter Terrorism Centre, Gowda said while in the US there are federal crimes where agencies like FBI can directly intervene India has a uniform penal code yet its implementation is with the state governments.

“We are apprehensive that officers of NCTC could first arrest, search and seize and simply inform the local police officers stating that they were authorised to do so by the Director NCTC. This has to be avoided,” he said.

However, police from Karnataka apparently do not have qualm about trampling on the prerogative of other states. IBN-Live reports:

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday vented his anger on way Karnataka police arrested a suspect terrorist from Darbhanga in Bihar, without formally informing the state police. Bangalore Crime Branch officials arrested Kafil Akhtar from Darbhanga for his alleged involvement in the M Chinnaswamy cricket stadium blasts.

“I have got information from police officials in Bihar that Karnataka police have arrested a person in Darbhanga. We have sought a report on this. I raised this issue during NCTC meeting. This is not right, there was no information with us. We will send this information to the Home Ministry. The law of the land should be followed,” the Bihar Chief Minister said.

The arrest of Akhtar from Barasmela village in Bihar’s Darbhanga district by a Karnataka police team has once again raised the issue of jurisdiction of a state police force conducting operations in another state. Nitish Kumar’s outburst will also give Home Minister P Chidambaram one more chance to point out that if a central anti-terror body like the NCTC is created, it would lead to better co-ordination while dealing with terror cases.

It can’t be a planned move against the shaky chief minister of Karnataka, can it? It is more likely that the state police just broke the law, as they often do.

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