A day after the Punjab government announced to set up an anti-terror squad (ATS) to break militants-gangsters nexus flourishing in the state prisons, Punjab Police on Tuesday said the force has firmed up plans to set up a special operation group (SOG) on the lines of the National Security Guard (NSG) to deal with terror attack in the state which shares border with Pakistan.
“We are working on setting up the SOG here as we have the NSG at the central level,” a senior official of Punjab Police said on Tuesday.
The objective of the SOG will be to neutralise any threat posed by fedayeen or terrorist groups by responding to that situation quickly. “The SOG will primarily be dealing with fedayeen or terror attacks and will also prevent any hostage-like situation,” the official said.
Punjab Police also has plans to rope in experts from Israel or the US for providing training to the SOG members to combat terror threats. “We are even ready to give SOG members specialised training by experts from Israel or US forces,” the official said.
The group will also have members of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), who were trained by Israeli military counter-terrorism experts. The SOG will be led by additional director general of police (ADGP) Rakesh Chandra, the official said.
Notably, Punjab had witnessed two terror attacks in 2015 and 2016. In the first attack, three heavily-armed terrorists wearing army fatigues had stormed a police station in Dinanagar town of Gurdaspur district in July 2015 killing seven persons, including a superintendent of police, before they were gunned down during a day-long operation.
In the second attack, four terrorists who had sneaked in from across the border had attacked the Pathankot airbase on the intervening night of January 1 and 2 last year, claiming the lives of seven security personnel.
The Punjab government had on Monday announced to set up an Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) to break the nexus of militants and gangsters flourishing in the state’s prisons.
The official said the ATS will also effectively deal with the ‘target killings’ as the state has witnessed several such incidents, including killing of RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja and Shiv Sena leader Durga Prasad Gupta in the past.
STF ON GANGSTERS TO HAVE NEW NAME
Apart from this, Punjab Police are also in the process of changing the nomenclature of the Special Task Force (STF) set up to deal with dreaded gangsters.
“The STF which deals with gangsters will soon have new name as the STF name has now been given to the anti-drugs team,” the official said.