Delhi likely to get 24X7 NSG security from December


According to highly placed sources, the decision was taken in the aftermath of the audacious 26/11 Mumbai terror attack nearly a year ago in which Pakistan-based militants killed over 170 people. With the exception of one, all the terrorists were gunned down by the NSG commandos, also known as Black Cats, in an operation that lasted over 60 hours.
"The decision to keep 120 NSG commandos on 24X7 standby was taken after the Mumbai attacks. In August, we acquired some land adjacent to Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. The construction of 120 barracks, which will house the commandos and their officers, is on in full swing," a senior security official said on condition of anonymity.

"We expect to complete the construction by December this year. These barracks would be pre-fabricated or semi-permanent. An office is also being raised from where the commandos would be functioning. Construction is also being carried out to keep weapons and gazettes and equipment," the official said.

Sources said the presence of NSG men round the clock would save at least two hours and make the force more lethal and potent.
"We had our men deployed at the airport. But these men were going home after performing their duties and others were replacing them. Now they can be permanently positioned there and perform round the clock," said another security official.

"These men would be so close to the airport that they just have to open a gate to carry out operations full throttle. A helipad is also being constructed to airlift the commandos for swift action," the official added.
The officials said these men would not be restricted to the Delhi airport. They would be sent to any place in the national capital or, say, in the northern part of the country, wherever their need is felt.
"These first 120 commandos would be the first to react or reach in any terror or hijack situation. They would be the first to be dispatched to the incident site. Simultaneously, the second or third team would be sent from our training centre in Manesar in Haryana to back them up," said the official.
"It would help us in cutting our response time significantly and help in quick mobilisation of troops. We have learnt our lessons from the Mumbai terror attacks where we reached seven hours after the firing had begun," the official said.
During the Mumbai attack, a lot of crucial time was wasted as the NSG commandos were called from Manesar to the Delhi airport - a drive of 40 minutes. More valuable time was lost as the NSG team had to first load their weapons, gazettes and equipment into the truck from Manesar to Delhi, then offload it at the airport and again re-load it in an aircraft. Finally, it was off-loaded at the Mumbai airport. Again, the weapons, equipment and gazettes had to be put in public buses at the Mumbai airport before being finally taken to the terror site.
Learning lessons from the Mumbai tragedy, the government has opened four NSG hubs in Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai, each having a strength of 241 personnel.   

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