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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

It’s not a smooth ride for NSG, even after 26/11

Presley Thomas, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 03, 2009
First Published: 00:16 IST(3/8/2009) | Last Updated: 00:21 IST(3/8/2009)

The impediments
The NSG team has been sanctioned only 200 litres of fuel a month, not sufficient to take its personnel through the length and breadth of the city.

The Maharashtra government is yet to issue a circular that would allow NSG to conduct investigations on its own.

Till the government notifies, the NSG has to rely on the ATS for every tiny detail.
On November 27, 2008, when the Special Action Group of the National Security Guards (NSG) was given a blue print of Taj Hotels and Towers in Mumbai, the paper failed to explain intricacies of the iconic structure.

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The crack team needed an architect to explain the details of the structures. Ultimately, the whole process cost them valuable time.

It's been eight months since the 26/11 Mumbai attack, but for the NSG things have not been made easier. Despite a hub to boost NSG operations in the city, the elite force is out on Mumbai roads carrying out their own reconnaissance of vital installations in the city.

The NSG team has been sanctioned only 200 litres of fuel a month, not sufficient to take its personnel through the length and breadth of the city.

Especially when the personnel have to travel 32km — one way from their base at Santacruz a western suburb to Colaba in south Mumbai — every time they have to refuel the battered Maruti Gypsy allotted to them. The jeep, incidentally, gives a mileage of 5km a litre.

Police sources said if the NSG had to move around the city, on a regular basis, it could not even sustain for a fortnight with the allotted amount of fuel.

Even if they manage to reach important installations, police sources added, the NSG would face a tough time conducting reconnaissance because the state government is yet to issue a circular that would allow the team to conduct investigations of any installation on its own.

S.S. Virk, director general of police (Maharashtra) said he was not aware of any such notification. “I will have to check and let you know if there is one,” Virk said.

Till the government notifies, the NSG has to rely on the Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) for every tiny detail.

K.P. Raghuvanshi, additional director general of police (ATS) said, “We do not require any permission from anybody. We are working together with the NSG.”

A situation NSG guards rue. This specifically because the NSG necessarily would not want to reveal all details. Especially because the reconnaissance is one of the basis on which the crack team conducts its exercises.

A former NSG guard and serving army officer, requesting anonymity, said: “The

NSG essentially would not want to share its information with local police officials for myriad reasons. One of the major reasons being operational secrecy is of utmost importance and priority for a commando force.”

While the notification can be delayed, the NSG cannot postpone its work as Mumbai continues to face threat.


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