Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NSG hubs don't make our life secure

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It won't take 12 hours for the country's elite commando force to reach anywhere in the country like in case of a Mumbai. Well that's what the paper says with the opening of regional hubs for the NSG Commandos in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Seven months after the devastating Mumbai terror attack the Government has kept one of its promise. The elite commandos will be strike ready in all major parts of the country.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said the government also plans to set up two more strike forces with Army's special forces in Bangalore and Jodhpur. Keeping in mind the counter insurgency operations going on in North East a special force will be raised with the help of Border Security Force. All said and done the citizens of this country can sleep peacefully, the commandos are there to protect us. Or can we?

Let us understand a very fundamental thing, NSG is a reactive force and will act whenever there is a crisis situation. So they don't prevent a fiyadeen attack or a bomb blast in a busy market area. Secondly NSG being a highly skilled force small in number will only be called out during major operations. This means Kolkata based NSG won't normally be used to fight against the Maoist in Lalgarh and the Hyderabad based NSG commandos won't fight the Naxals in Telengana.

Creating more NSG hubs was a smart move by the government after these brave soldiers displayed awesome courage and tactical skills during the 26/11 attacks. From the print to the television to the cyber media, NSG commandos became poster boys of India's security forces. True they fought bravely and deserve credit but the Government should try to ensure that a Mumbai like commando operation is not required in the future

What has the government done to improve the coastal policing system a major loophole in the 26/11 attack? What has the government done to make sure that the railway constables don't need to do a lathi charge against an Kalashnikov spraying bullets. What has the government done to arm the anti-terror forces in the police with protective gear and modern weapons and communication system. These measures would prevent attacks and be a proactive measure. These measures are more important than setting up of NSG hubs.

There is no question on the ability of our NSG Commandos provided they do not need to charter a plane in a crisis situation. There is no Home Minister who travels along and prefers being briefed before the the commandos themselves. Hopefully the NSG Commandos won't need to ride on a State Government bus to reach a crisis area. Let us give our security forces a fair battle ground in a crisis situation.


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