Force to counter N-attack
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Force to counter N-attack

In consonance with revised nuclear security doctrine, Govt proposes to throw a security blanket across the country to effectively tackle and negate the impact of nuke attack.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2004 18:32 IST

In consonance with the revised nuclear security doctrine, the Centre proposes to throw a security blanket across the country to effectively tackle and negate the impact of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons attack.

Sources told HT that eight special battalions of paramilitary forces trained to deal with attacks arising out of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are being formed. They said crack troops will be drawn from the CRPF, CISF and BSF to form this 10,000-strong special force.

Four battalions have already been trained to counter a nuclear attack. They are currently stationed in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, and will undergo specialised training to deal with disasters arising out of biological or chemical weapon attacks. This training will be imparted to the special force at DRDO facilities in Gwalior.

The force will be under the home ministry with a clear command structure. Cabinet Secretary Kamal Pande presided over a meeting of the core group of secretaries to finalise the command and security procedures for this force.

A high-powered National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) would be set up in the home ministry with special secretary (internal security) as its chief. Top officials from home, defence intelligence and other security agencies will constitute this authority. The home ministry's disaster management division may also be merged with this NEMA.

The proposal to constitute this force, according to sources, was mooted by Deputy PM L.K. Advani after several intelligence agencies worldwide shared some South Asia-related information with the Vajpayee government.

The Finance Ministry has okayed a Rs 637-crore budget to raise the force.

Apart from state-of-the-art equipment, the force will have its own IL-76 heavy-lift transport aircraft to facilitate its movement at a short notice. It will also have four helicopters and six unmanned aircraft at its disposal.

First Published: Feb 28, 2004 00:04 IST