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HomeNEWSCRPF Commandos to replace NSG ‘Black Cats’ for VIP security duties

CRPF Commandos to replace NSG ‘Black Cats’ for VIP security duties

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CRPF Commandos to replace NSG ‘Black Cats’ for VIP security duties

In a significant development the ministry of Home Affairs has decided to replace NSG ‘Black cats’ deployed in VIP security duties with CRPF Commandos. As a part of the plan, 1400 odd CRPF personnel presently deployed for counterterrorism and anti-sabotage duties in the parliament complex as part of the Parliament Duties Group (PDG) will also be replaced by CISF.

It is reliably learnt that a decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting in the in North Block, attended by the Director Intelligence Bureau Tapan Deka, CRPF DG Anish Dayal Singh, NSG DG Nalin Prabhat and other senior officials.

In the new security system, NSG will be completely removed from VIP security. The duty of NSG’s VIP security unit, Special Ranger Group (SRG), will be handed over to the VIP security unit of CRPF.

As on date the Special Protection Group (SPG) formed by an Act of the Parliament in 1988 is responsible for protecting the Prime Minister of India at all times – in India or abroad, while the NSG, CRPF, CISF and ITBP personnel look after the security of other VIPs classified in the X to Z+ category according to the threat perception.

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Before 1981, the security of the Prime Minister at his/her official residence was the responsibility of the Special Security District of the Delhi Police, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP). This model was adopted from the United Kingdom, where the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is protected by London’s Metropolitan Police Service. In October 1981, a Special Task Force (STF) was established by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to provide transportation security and road escorts for Prime Minister’s cavalcade on the move in and out of New Delhi.

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Ironically neither SPG nor NSG have their own permanent troops and the vacancies are filled up by volunteers from the army and other central paramilitary forces who have to undergo a 14 month training course which has a drop out rate of about 70–80 percent. The NSG consists entirely of volunteers on deputation from the Indian Army , Central Armed Police Forces and State Police departments. NSG commandos are sent back to their parent department after serving with the force for a certain period of time. The Director General of the National Security Guard is an officer from the Indian Police Service.

According to sources there is nothing new in the VIP security duties being taken back from National Security Guard (NSG) as few years back the security of VIPs protected by SPG was similarly handed over to CRPF.

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Significantly providing security to the VIPs was never the mandate of the National Security Guard (NSG), or Black Cat Commandos and the formation was raised as a counter-terrorism unit under the Ministry of Home Affairs on 16 October 1984, in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, to combat terrorist activities and protect against internal disturbances.

NSG fashioned after the British Special Air Service as well as Germany’s GSG 9 was meant to be a ‘special contingency or zero error quick reaction force’ which could be quickly deployed and withdrawn during serious terrorist attacks. As a specialised counter-terrorism force, it is intended to be used “only in exceptional situations” and is not meant to take over the “functions of the State Police Forces or other Para Military Forces”.

Despite this, its role was expanded to provide personal security to influential politicians regardless of the real threat that they face.

However, now after being relieved of its VIP security duties, NSG is expected to go back to its original counter-terrorism and anti-hijacking role in keeping with its motto ‘Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha’.

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According to sources the proposal to withdraw NSG’s Black Cat Commandos and hand over VIP security duties to central paramilitary forces has been making rounds for past many years but gained ground after Amit Shah took charge of the Union Home Ministry.

Significantly some of the people being protected by the NSG included Former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, former Jammu and Kashmir CMs Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad, BSP chief Mayawati, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu and former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh.

They have nothing to worry as the CRPF already has a VIP security wing. The CRPF commandoes who will be deployed for VIP security duties too have the same training, weapons and resources which were available with NSG commandos.

However, the issue is not whether CRPF personnel are better or worse than NSG Commandos but the motivation and morale of the NSG, CRPF, CISF and ITBP personnel posted for VIP security duties.

In many cases, these Commandos are not provided proper accommodation or wash rooms to relieve themselves. They have to keep standing and be alert at all times while providing perimeter security at the protected person’s home/office or accompanying the VIP on the move. In most cases the personnel posted in VIP security detail are treated badly – almost like personal servants of the VIP. Very often they don’t get time for proper sleep, and to wash their clothes or get them ironed to wear the next day.

In the mid-80s when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister, he had a habit to play hide and seek and suddenly disappear for a few hours making the security personnel scratch their heads and hope they would not lose their job because of the security lapse.

Unfortunately this is a problem only in India where people from all walks of life – business men, film stars; Chief Ministers, MPs, Cabinet Ministers and even small time politicians or people with criminal records can expect to get free slaves or VIP Security personnel – whose primary duty is to protect them, even at the risk of their own life.

In USA only the POTUS or President of USA is authorised to be protected by Federal Security Agents, other people irrespective of their status or portfolio have to hire executive protection staff or bodyguards from private security agencies.         


Handing over VIP security to CRPF seems to be part of a well-thought plan to avoid multiplicity of Force for the same role.

However, it remains to be seen if the CAPF develops as a lean and machine for Internal Security and leads to peace, progress and prosperity in the Nation after resolving its problems of human capital, promotions, operational department and logistics.

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Neeraj Mahajan
Neeraj Mahajanhttps://n2erajmahajan.wordpress.com/
Neeraj Mahajan is a hard-core, creative and dynamic media professional with over 35 years of proven competence and 360 degree experience in print, electronic, web and mobile journalism. He is an eminent investigative journalist, out of the box thinker, and a hard-core reporter who is always hungry for facts. Neeraj has worked in all kinds of daily/weekly/broadsheet/tabloid newspapers, magazines and television channels like Star TV, BBC, Patriot, Sunday Observer, Sunday Mail, Network Magazine, Verdict, and Gfiles Magazine.


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