Manesar (Haryana), Oct 16: Differing with former National Security Advisor (NSA) M.K. Narayanan, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Tuesday called for more NSG hubs in the country, noting that the move will improve the accessibility of the elite commando force.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the 28th raising day of the National Security Guard here, Shinde supported the creation of the four hubs and said more were needed.
“India needs more hubs of NSG which will increase its accessibility,” Shinde said.
Narayanan, who is currently governor of West Bengal, had last week expressed reservations over the setting up of the four regional hubs. It was an issue that created a chasm between him, in his previous role as NSA, and then home minister P. Chidambaram following the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
Narayanan had said he was concerned at the current emphasis on increasing the size and numbers of the NSG, adding that the elite special force was intended to meet a specific situation and its strength does not lie in its numbers.
The minister also said the government was looking into demands for modernisation of weaponry of the specialised force.
Answering queries, Shinde said the government “can think of removing” Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir after monitoring the situation for some more months.
The situation had been relatively peaceful in the border state for the past year, he said.
“I visited Kashmir recently. It is peaceful,” Shinde said.
There have been demands from some political parties in the state for removal of the act from districts of the state that are peaceful.
Shinde said his ministry was in touch with authorities in Haryana over spurt in rape cases in the state.
Earlier, in his speech, Shinde said NSG commandos were serving with bravery and had made the country proud on several occasions.
NSG Director General Subhash Joshi said there was need to further modernise the force.
He said the force had sent a Rs.664 crore proposal to the home ministry for purchase of modern weaponry and gadgets for the commandos.
The commandos demonstrated their skills at anti-hijacking using the “Dhruv” advanced light helicopter, which has been recently inducted in the force. They also demonstrated their skills of VIP security and countering terrorist attacks.
Women commandos also participated in the mock operations. A dog show was also held.
Family members of 12 NSG martyrs, who had laid down their lives in various anti-terror operations, were honoured at the function.
NSG was set up in 1984 as a federal contingency deployment force to tackle terrorism in the country.