For the first time after the 26/11 terror strike, the National Security Guards (NSG) conducted an exercise at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in south Mumbai on Wednesday night.
Sources in the state home department said that a contingent of the NSG flew down from New Delhi to conduct the exercise at the building, which was the main target during the 1993 serial blasts.
The exercise was carried out at night. Sources said that the NSG contingent carried out mock exercise to rescue hostages and flush out terrorists. “This is essentially an exercise to familiarise the commandos with the site map of the building and its premises, so they won’t face any problem during a real operation in the future,” sources said.
During the 26/11 terrorist attack, NSG commandos had to launch their assault at multiple targets, such as the Nariman House, Taj and Oberoi Hotels in blind situations. This was because the elite commando unit did not have site maps of these locations or the blue prints of these structures. In the process, they lost Major Sandeep Unnikrisnan, while another commando suffered eye injuries as terrorists lobbed grenades from blind spots at the NSG contingents.
Sources said that the NSG, which recently set up a regional hub in Mumbai, would carry out similar exercises at other high security and vital installations in the city, which have been figuring high on the terror radar. Places which have traditionally been known to harbour terrorists and anti-social elements would witness such “awe and shock” exercises by the NSG in the coming days, sources claimed.
The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) commando unit, Force One, also participated in the exercise in order to gain experience from their central counterpart. Prior to Wednesday’s exercise, a similar stealth exercise was carried out by the NSG at a location in Jogeswari, sources revealed.