The elite National Security Guard, stationed in Jammu and Kashmir for more than six months, have knocked on the doors of the Home Ministry, asking for the clarification on their role in the terror-hit state. Over the last months, the elite troops have not taken part in any anti-terror operations. The 80-odd commandos in the Valley have been reduced to training the paramilitary forces stationed in state and the state police.
According to sources, the NSG was sent to the Valley in May on the directions of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval after security forces started losing men in high-risk interventions — neutralizing holed-up terrorists in densely populated localities. The idea was also to engage the services of commandos in real-time situations.
This was done in keeping with the rules and even the home ministry did not play any role in it. But earlier this month its Director General Sudeep Lakhtakia visited the Valley and met Governor Satya Pal Malik and state police chief Dilbagh Singh.
“It is the prerogative of a state which force they want to use in any operation, but it was on request of the state that we stationed a small unit of the NSG commandos in Srinagar. The idea was to reduce the response time (during terror attacks),” the NSG chief told NDTV.
Currently, around half-a-dozen forces are stationed in the Valley and each area of responsibility has been defined — all but the duties of the NSG, sources said. “There are no clear guidelines for us and the result is we have only been camping in Humhama campus for over six months now,” a senior officer told NDTV.
The number of terror attacks in the Kashmir Valley has been at an all-time high this year. As many as 450 terror incidents have been reported. Security forces have eliminated 230 terrorists and 85 security personnel have been killed.
“There is thick presence of security forces on the ground. There is no immediate need to add yet another force,” a senior home ministry officer handling the issue told NDTV.
The NSG – a task force formed specially for counter-terror operations — have been stationed in BSF campus in Humhama near Srinagar airport. “As a part of the counter insurgency operation in Kashmir, it would have helped us to prepare for insurgencies in other part of the country,” an officer said.