Hyderabad gets NSG hub, to have training centre too (Lead)

July 1st, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Hyderabad, July 1 (IANS) This city will soon get a training centre for over 5,000 commandos, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here Wednesday while inaugurating a regional hub of the elite anti-terror National Security Guard (NSG) - as part of capacity building plans post 26/11.
“We had made a promise after the terrorist attack in Mumbai in November that we will set up four regional centres of the NSG so that the reach and capacity to tackle terror is considerably enhanced throughout the country,” he said.

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.

The Hyderabad hub is the third to be commissioned. Chidambaram arrived here after inaugurating a similar hub in Chennai. He formally commissioned the first regional hub in Mumbai Tuesday and the fourth is scheduled to be launched at Kolkata later Wednesday.

“We had promised that the regional hubs will be set up by June 30. We were able to keep that promise. In the space of 24 hours we will inaugurate all four hubs,” the home minister said.

The regional hub here will have 241 commandos. It will be headed by Lt. Col. Sandeep Sen, who led successful operations against terrorists at the Nariman House in Mumbai during the Nov 26-29 siege.

Chidambaram presented a scroll to Sen to formally commission the NSG hub. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy hoisted the NSG flag at the ceremony attended by NSG Director General N.P.S. Aulakh, state Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy and several top police officials.

The formal inauguration was held at the old airport though the hub is coming up on 23 acres of land at Tirmulghery. The infrastructure will be built at a cost of Rs.37 crore.

Chidambaram said an NSG regional training centre would also be set up in Hyderabad soon. This will be the first training centre of NSG outside its headquarters in Manesar, Gurgaon - near the national capital.

“Hyderabad of course has a special place. 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 etc.,” Chidambaram said.

“The land for the regional centre is being identified. The chief minister (Y.S. 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. The regional centre will also take a few years,” he said.

He pointed out that the NSG was a specially trained force. As many as 53 percent 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.

“The NSG hub is intended to deal with terrorist threat and attacks. This is an anti-terrorist and anti-hijacking force. The NSG is not expected to engage in search and destroy operations. We have CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and Cobra teams do this. This state has Greyhounds for that purpose,” he said.

Chidamabaram said the NSG had powers to requisition any aircraft anywhere in India.

“Once there is a call, either the state government will airlift them or they will immediately rush to the nearest airport. They can take over any aircraft at any time.”

Chief Minister Reddy, meanwhile, pointed out that the OCTOPUS was a state-level elite force raised on the lines of the Greyhounds to deal with terrorism. He said OCTOPUS would work in tandem with NSG.

NSG Director General Aulakh said the regional hubs would not only act as force multipliers but also provide immediate multi-directional as well as multi-dimensional approach to any threat arising in the country.

“With operationalisation of the regional centre, we would be in a position to organise training for police forces in south Indian states in critical areas liken VIP security (for which NSG has been declared centre of excellence), bomb disposal and also train police commando instructors.

“I would like to assure all that all India presence of NSG will ensure swift, precise and deterrent action. The NSG will always remain devoted to its motto of Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha (everywhere best security) and rise to meet any challenge to the nation’s security whenever and wherever called upon to do so,” said Aulakh.

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