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Government to withdraw elite NSG from VIP duties

Government to withdraw elite NSG from VIP duties
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The Union government, after effecting a major VIP security cut and withdrawing SPG cover for Gandhis, has now decided to completely remove NSG commandos from this task, official sources said.

New Delhi: The Union government, after effecting a major VIP security cut and withdrawing SPG cover for Gandhis, has now decided to completely remove NSG commandos from this task, official sources said. The protection duties were not a part of the NSG job when the force was conceptualised in 1984.

Protection duties involve the force providing proximate and mobile security cover, including commandos armed with sophisticated assault weapons - under the top 'Z+' category to 13 'high-risk' VIPs.

Each of the VIPs are given access to about two dozen personnel to ensure proper security. While talking about the Union government's decision, officials in the security establishment said the protection duties of the NSG, which include giving security to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, will soon be taken off the hands of the NSG commandos and would be transferred to paramilitary forces.

Sources suggest that the government now feels that the NSG, instead of having to handle the protection duties, should concentrate on its original charter of handling specific tasks of counter-terrorist and anti-hijack operations.

It was also said that the government thinks that the protection duties were seemingly weighing down on the commandos and was proving to be a 'burden' on them.

A senior official in the security establishment, while talking about the matter, said, "The NSG needs to go back to its original mandate of counter-terror and anti-hijack duties. That is the reason behind the latest move."

This move is expected to result in freeing about 450 commandos from the protection duties.

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