Amidst blame game, PM, CJI moot federal agency proposal

Blasts in Jaipur have once again raised questions on India’s ability to curb terror. Jaipur came on the terror radar for the first time and the incident killed over 60 people and injured hundreds.This was the 20th strike by terrorists in the last two years, yet there isn’t a single conviction in the case.Intelligence agencies blame poor investigations by the police. The state police, in turn, say that they are not alerted well in advance. But as the blame game continues, experts have rooted for a central agency to tackle terror on the lines of America’s FBI.Today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that though the Centre always backed the idea, the states are not too keen.”I think there is a case for a federal crime bureau. But states are reluctant to cooperate,” he said.The Centre had earlier implemented tough laws to curb terror like the Prevention Of Terrorism Act (POTA) and Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA). But they were later withdrawn after complaints of human rights abuse.But of late, terrorists have struck at will killing a lot of innocent people. And now, even the judiciary wants tougher laws.”We require some stringent laws. The government has the responsibility of protecting the lives of innocent citizens,” says Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan.The Opposition BJP has often accused the UPA government of going soft on terrorism.Speaking to NDTV, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that the Centre’s approach was biased.NDTV: Do you find some of the centre and the state are not in tune with each other? Vasundhara Raje: ”There must be some problem somewhere, if a law can be allowed to apply to one state, and not be allowed to apply to another state.” NDTV: You are talking about anti-terrorist law, which is called RCOCA. Vasundhara Raje: ”Yes, I mean, it’s the same law, that is allowed in Maharashtra and if you can allow it in Maharashtra, then why not in Rajasthan?Thus, there is an increasing demand for stringent anti-terror laws in the country. But it remains to be seen what action the Centre takes?
Saturday, May 17, 2008 (New Delhi)


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