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Madhya Pradesh asks prime minister to clear anti-terror bill


Bhopal : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was asked by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Saturday to clear the state’s anti-terrorism bill 2007 that has been pending for approval with the central government.

“Since the spread of terrorism was a serious threat to peace, unity and integrity of our country, there was urgent need to have political will and national consensus on fighting terrorism.

“However, the central government had taken a retrograde step by repealing POTA, without making adequate provisions to deal with terrorism, thus leaving the states to defend themselves against the menace with archaic and inadequate laws,” he said in a letter to Manmohan Singh.

Reminding Manmohan Singh about the Madhya Pradesh anti-terrorism bill pending with the central government since December 2007, Chouhan said that its approval was still to come despite several reminders.

“The bill was passed by the state assembly to deal with terrorism, organized crime and disruptive activities.

“While MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) and other similar other laws were already in existence in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, anti-terror laws passed by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) ruled states including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan were pending with the union government for approval for long,” he said.

“These long pending bills also need urgent consideration in wider national interest”.

Chouhan also sought enactment of a central anti-terrorism law on the line of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

He said the prime minister would agree that in a federal polity, terrorism can only be dealt with through resolute political consensus, effective collaboration and concerted efforts by the central and the state governments.

He has asked Manmohan Singh to convene at the earliest a meeting of all chief ministers to discuss the imminent security concerns arising from the recent terror incidents in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.