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West coast faces terror threat: Home Minister

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram,inaugurating the National Security Guard (NSG) regional hub at the Begumpet...

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram,inaugurating the National Security Guard (NSG) regional hub at the Begumpet Airport on Wednesday,said another sea-borne terror attack from the west coast is a possibility. The Home Minister said intelligence agencies have warned about such a possibility from the west coast and that the governments of Gujarat,Goa and Maharashtra have been warned and told to take additional precautions. Coast Guard,Navy and coastal police patrolling would be stepped up due to the threat.

Th Home Minister also said that Hyderabad will have a regional training centre of the National Security Guard (NSG) on the lines of the one in Manesar to train over 5,000 commandos. The inauguration of the new hub was held at the old airport though the hub is coming up on 23 acres of land at Tirmulghery on the outskirts of the city at a cost of Rs 37 crore. The Hyderabad hub will have 241 commandos and would be headed Lt Col Sandeep Sen,who led successful operations against terrorists at the Nariman House in Mumbai last November.

“This is one of the four regional centres of NSG that we had decided to establish after the terrorist attack in Mumbai in November so that the reach and capacity to tackle terror is considerably enhanced throughout the country,” Chidambaram said after inaugurating the hub. “The idea of setting up regional hubs was born out of the fact that it took several hours for the NSG commandos to move from Manesar,Gurgaon,to Mumbai,” he said. The Home Minister inaugurated the hub here after opening a similar one at Chennai.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy hoisted the NSG flag at the ceremony attended by NSG Director General N P S Aulakh,Andhra Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy and several top police officials.

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“Apart from the regional hub,we propose to establish a regional centre of the NSG,replicating Manesar in Ibrahimpatnam in Hyderabad. This will cost a very large amount of money. It will have 5,150 commandos. It will become a major training centre for all south Indian police forces to help them raise commando forces,anti-terror forces,quick reaction teams,” Chidambaram said.

“The land for the regional centre is being identified. Rajasekhara Reddy has assured me that orders will be issued soon to transfer the land. This is a major project. Manesar took a few years to build and this regional centre will also take a few years,” he said.

“It is crucial to have another training facility because the NSG is a specially trained force and as many as 53 per cent of NSG troops come from the Army and the rest from paramilitary forces. These are the finest fighting young men in India,especially trained to tackle terrorism and hijacking,” he said. To a query,he said the NSG would not be engaged in operations against the Maoists.

First published on: 01-07-2009 at 04:03:17 am
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