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NSG says media got in the way, wants guidelines

Concerned over the way many aspects of its operations got “jeopardized” due to live images being broadcast by TV during the 60-hour siege...

Concerned over the way many aspects of its operations got “jeopardized” due to live images being broadcast by TV during the 60-hour siege, the National Security Guard (NSG) is now pushing for restrictions on media coverage wherever its commandos are engaged in combat. Having already raised the issue during its recent meetings with Home Ministry officials, the NSG top brass is likely to move a written request in this connection, it is learnt.

Sources told The Indian Express that the force is particularly miffed with the way its operations at Nariman House were broadcast live. Questions are being raised over the way Havaldar Gajender Singh fell to a terrorist’s bullet at Nariman House. “TV broadcast our commandos landing from a helicopter on the roof over Nariman House. By the time our men landed and started taking positions, the terrorists were already waiting for them and opened fire,” an NSG official said.

In contrast, NSG officials said, operations at Oberoi “could be conducted more smoothly” since TV channels were kept beyond a one-kilometre radius. “This zone was put under virtual curfew with no access allowed to television crews,” said an NSG commando leading the Oberoi operations. “The operations there took the least time, just under 30 hours, as compared to the other two places,” he said.

NSG officials said that while terrorists holed up inside probably did not have access to live TV images on the second and third day of operations, they still phones and were probably getting “instructions” from people watching those live images on TV.

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First published on: 06-12-2008 at 09:49 IST
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