BY RAJNISH SINGH
Gurgram, Oct 15 (IANS) In view of recent intelligence inputs about Pakistan-backed terror activities in Punjab such as through arms drops using drones, the National Security Guard (NSG) plans to establish a new functional hub for the elite counter-terrorism force in the vicinity of Amritsar and Pathankot.
The force has also increased its presence in Jammu and Kashmir and a functional hub is already in place there.
NSG Director General S.S. Deswal announced the plans on the occasion of 35th Raising Day of the counter-terrorism unit which was raised in 1984, and operates under the Union Home Ministry.
Observing that the neighbouring country does not follow the ethics and has been instrumental in continuous terror activities in India, he said: “A new functional hub would be established in the vicinity of Amritsar and Pathankot very soon. Work is in progress. A latest such hub is functional in Srinagar from the last one year.”
“In case of any emergency in Jammu and Kashmir, NSG teams respond to maintain safe and secure environment.”
It is learnt that Centre is in talks with Punjab government to decide a feasible spot in the vicinity of Amritsar and Pathankot to build the NSG hub.
Deswal also said that the NSG is well-equipped and prepared to handle any adverse situation including terror attacks, from its current six operational centres.
“Each centres have full capability to handle all situations like a terrorist attack, hijacking, and hostage captivity among others,” he said.
The NSG, which was first deployed in Kashmir ahead of the Amaranth Yatra in 2018, it increased its strength in the crucial region since then.
“Now a fully functional hub is active in Srinager,” said another NSG official in the know of developments. “The idea is to reduce distance. We have trained our boys to operate in rural, snow-bound areas of Kashmir as well.”
To a query about abrogation of Article 370, the NSG chief said there is no question about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after scrapping of the article from the state, but it is that “Pakistan is always up to mischief”.
Asked over NSG’s capabilities to tackle drones which were, last month, used to ferry arms from Pakistan to Punjab, Deswal said: “We have the ability to spot a drone and also to neutralise it.”
He also clarified that both the Army and the Border Security Force (BSF) are capable and well equipped to handle drones and stop smuggling of arms.
“NSG is ready to contribute if the need arises. We are also equipped with technology and arms to identify the movement of drones both in day and night and neutralise it.”
Asserting that the NSG has shown its capabilities in previous terror attacks, Deswal said whatever information they receive is shared with all security agencies and they are capable of tackling any future attack.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])