At the Border Security Force camp at Humhaha near Srinagar, now seen training are commandos of the elite National Security Guard, a special forces unit under the Home Ministry. Wearing their trademark black uniform, these special commandos perform drills along with other security forces to build synergy.
A proper infrastructure is being put in place for NSG ahead of its teams moving in. The force will train CRPF and J&K police in entering and storming buildings and other anti-terror skills. “As and when terror situations demanding their special skills crop up, NSG commandos will be also be deployed for operations. The call will be taken by J&K police at whose disposal the force will be,” said an officer.
The NSG commandos, whose presence in Kashmir was cleared last month by the Home Ministry, will soon be deployed in anti-terror operations in the Valley. Officials say the presence of NSG commandos would help reduce casualties among security forces, particularly against the backdrop of the centre’s plans to intensify operations.
The ” Ramzan ceasefire “, while providing relief to ordinary people, put counter-terror forces at a disadvantage by easing the pressure that intensified operations in preceding months had built on terrorists. According to a senior J&K police officer, had the unilateral ceasefire not been in place and cordon-and-search operations continued in the normal course, around 15-20 terrorists could have been neutralised based on intelligence flow on their movements in built-up areas.
A few months ago, the NSG had trained commandos of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) at its Manesar headquarters near Gurgaon for anti-terrorism operations.
Sources say the NSG’s core efficiency so far has been in counter-terrorism, counter-hijacking operations and proximate security for the VVIPs. It was used in the 90s in limited operations in Kashmir.
There is concern that terror groups may now strike with renewed vigour, particularly targeting the Amarnath Yatra, and hence the strategy will be focused on neutralising terrorists active in the south Kashmir areas of Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam.