NSG may be deployed in J&K for anti-terror ops

NSG may be deployed in J&K for anti-terror ops

The NSG was raised in 1984 in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, which was carried out to flush out terrorists hiding in the Golden Temple in Punjab's Amritsar city. PTI file photo

In line with the security establishment's intent to go muscular in Kashmir, the government is likely to boost anti-militant operations with the deployment of elite National Security Guards (NSG) in the Valley.

This comes against the backdrop of the state being put under Governor's Rule after the BJP withdrew support to the PDP-led alliance government, citing increasing terrorist incidents and growing radicalisation in Kashmir.

Sources said the NSG commandos are already stationed in Kashmir where they are undergoing training to acclimatise with the conditions of the state.

The deployment, which was decided earlier by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), may be hastened following the developments in the state and the Centre's decision to tweak its strategy against militants. The Centre had decided last Sunday not to extend the suspension of offensive action against militants, which was in place during the holy month of Ramzan.

Security officials emphasise that there is a need for augmenting operations against militants, claiming there will be attempts from across the border to create trouble in Kashmir.

There were concerns about the deployment of NSG in anti-militant operations in the Valley, as the force is not specifically trained for such operations but for hostage-type situations and room-to-room interventions. However, it did not find merit with the MHA, which decided to send the commandos to the Valley.

One of the challenges before the security forces will be to handle crowds at encounter sites and ensure that no civilians are killed during the operations. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are constantly reviewing the security situation in the Valley.

To take everyone on board, Governor N N Vohra has already called an all-party meeting in Srinagar on Friday. He will brief party leaders about the situation and the steps he would take to ensure peace in the state.

In Hyderabad, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said the Centre will not tolerate terrorism in Kashmir and was committed to bringing peace in the Valley. "We want to end this trouble forever, what is being carried out in Kashmir by separatists, terrorists or by Pakistan... The government will not tolerate (it)," he was quoted as saying by PTI.