India has made a database of private aircraft that can be used for movement of its elite force National Security Guard (NSG) during urgent counter-terror operations in any part of the country.
The decision is seen by the security forces as cutting of red tape at the time of anti-terror operations.
The government has directed the security forces that “data base of all the private aircraft suitable for efficient and quick movements be collated and used for movement by NSG when required in emergency situations”.
The source said that this move will help the NSG to move immediately for counter-terror operations across the country.
The NSG role is to swiftly and speedily carry out strike and immediately withdraw from the theatre of action.
It has a specific role of handling all facets of terrorism in any party of the country as a federal contingency force, said the source.
The force is being modelled on the pattern of Special Air Service (SAS) of the United Kingdom and Grenzschutzgruppe 9 also known as Border Protection Group 9 (GSG-9) of Germany.
The source said that the country had witnessed how NSG had to wait for eight hours at the airport to get an aircraft during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. The government now doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake and is making all efforts to upgrade the security apparatus.
It was red tape delays in pressing the NSG into action in Mumbai when Pakistan-based terrorists carried out the attack on November 26, 2008.
It took commandos an inexcusable eight hours to reach the places where terrorists were holed up. The worst thing that happened was that they had to wait three- and- a- half hours for an aircraft to carry them to Mumbai. And at the Mumbai airport, they spent another hour waiting for a bus to transport them to the sites.
Back then, the Union home ministry ordered 200 NSG commandos to be rushed to Mumbai around 12.45 am. Ideally, they should not have taken more than 30 minutes to depart. However, the men were forced to wait until 3.15 am as there was no aircraft to fly them out.
Since then the government has taken several decisions to upgrade security measures.
“The use of private aircraft and keeping a database of such aircraft will definitely cut bureaucratic hassles and help the commandos to move swiftly,” said the source.