Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday reviewed the functioning of the National Security Guard (NSG) and took stock of many facets of the elite anti-terror force. During the hour-long meeting, the home minister was given a detailed briefing on the working of the NSG by its Director General Sudhir Pratap Singh and other top officials. Singh enquired about the preparedness of the NSG commandos, popularly known as ‘Black Cat’, to deal with exigencies or terror situation, official sources said.
The home minister was told that the training for the ‘Black Cat’ commandos was a continuous process and they were alert 24X7 to move swiftly to deal with any crisis or hostage-like situation, the sources said. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, senior officials of the home ministry attended the meeting.
The NSG was set up in 1984 as a federal contingency deployment force to tackle all facets of terrorism in the country. Thus, the primary role of the force is to combat
terrorism in whatever form it may assume in areas where activity of terrorists assumes serious proportions, and the state police and other central police forces cannot cope up with the situation. The NSG is a force specially equipped and trained to deal with specific situations and is therefore, to be used only in exceptional situations. The force is not designed to undertake the functions of the state police forces or other paramilitary forces of India.
The NSG is modelled on the pattern of the SAS of the UK and GSG-9 of Germany. It is a task-oriented force and has two complementary elements in the form of the Special Action Group comprising Army personnel and the Special Ranger Groups, comprising personnel drawn from the central paramilitary forces/state police force. All the personnel are on deputation.
The NSG commandos also provide security to a few dignitaries, including the home minister, former deputy prime minister L K Advani, former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal besides others.
The NSG was highly appreciated for eliminating the 10 terrorists who carry out terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. The NSG’s headquarters is in New Delhi while the training facility is located on the outskirts of the national capital. After 26/11 attacks, the central government had set up four regional hubs of the NSG in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata to reduce reaction time. A regional centre at Hyderabad is also being raised.