In first speech, Shinde skips NCTC, NATGRID
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The creation of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and a National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) seems to have gone off the radar of the Home Ministry under new minister Sushilkumar Shinde who did not even make a mention these two pet projects of his predecessor P Chidambaram at his first public speech on Thursday.
Shinde inaugurated the annual conference of senior police officers in which he focused more on the threats to national security emanating from "irresponsible use" of cyberspace that was claimed to be one of the reasons for the mass exodus of people of the Northeast from other parts of the country.
"There is increasing evidence of resort taken by terrorists to the cyberspace domain. (In) the recent incidents... motivated rumours and irresponsible use of the social networking media posed a new challenge. Besides providing a pervasive infrastructure for discreet communication, cyberspace is proving to be a facilitator for malevolents seeking to enlist new recruits and to purvey a distorted version of the reality. Anonymity that the user acquires in this medium can sometimes test the capacities of even the most experienced police investigator. Police forces will have to develop skills in this area not just for locating malicious content but also for identifying those responsible for posting it," Shinde said.
While talking about the new initiatives to improve the security architecture, Shinde mentioned the efforts to strengthen Multi-Agency Centre, an intelligence sharing platform, and Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), that aims to integrate crime records at all the police stations in the country, but stayed away from discussing the more contentious NCTC and NATGRID projects.
The NCTC, a proposed all-encompassing body to deal with terrorism, is already in deep freeze because of the strong opposition from the state governments which forced the Home Ministry to backtrack after having announced its creation from March 1. The Home Ministry is, as of now, trying to make changes in the provisions that will be acceptable to all the states.
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