Congress promises NCTC, NATGRID for internal security

Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) In measures aimed at enhancing internal security, the Congress, in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections released on Tuesday, promised to set up the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) within three months of forming the government in the Centre, and making NATGRID operational by December 2019.

Both the NCTC and National Intelligence Grid, an integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies of the Central government to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by the agencies, was proposed by it earlier but not taken ahead by the Narenda Modi government, it said.

The party accused the Modi government of “dismantling the preparatory work” of the two projects and wasting five years. “NCTC was put in the cold storage and NATGRID is yet to be made operational,” the manifesto said.

Stating that the key to internal security is intelligence, analysis and quick response, the Congress said it had also put in place the Multi-Agency Centre and the National Security Guard (NSG) regional hubs.

Terming terrorism, infiltration of militants, Maoism and caste or communal violence as most serious threats to internal security, the Congress said: “We promise an uncompromising approach and hard measures to put an end to terrorism and to the infiltration of militants.”

In the case of Maoism, the party said it will resolutely fight violent activities and at the same time, address developmental challenges in the areas concerned, enlist the support of the people and win over the Maoist cadres.

In the case of caste or communal violence, the Congress asserted that “there will be no room for self-appointed vigilante groups and moral policing brigades”.

As per its manifesto, the Congress will work with state governments to increase the strength of state police, fill all vacancies within 18 months and to lay down a schedule for annual recruitment, taking into account anticipated vacancies.

The manifesto also promises strong action in respect of crimes against women, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities, riots, caste or communal violence, and holding the district administration concerned responsible for such crimes.

In police reforms, the manifesto says that as police and law and order are state subjects, the Congress promises to consult state governments and reach a consensus on the sebject directed by the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh case. Based on the consensus, Congress will pass a Model Police Act that the states will be advised to adopt and enact, it said.

The party also said that it will work with state governments to ensure that their police forces reflect the diversity of the population and give greater representation to under-represented sections, while 33 per cent of all vacancies in direct recruitment and promotion are reserved for women constables and officers.

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