New Delhi: Gujarat may emerge as the fifth hub for stationing the elite counter-terror commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG) in the country. If given final approval, the commando base would cover the entire western part of the country along with Mumbai in case of a terrorist attack, hostage crisis or hijack attempt for which special commandos have been trained.
The central government has accorded an in-principle approval to this proposal which was initially mooted by the state government.
"Our team is travelling to the state for an on-site assessment and once they prepare a report we will decide on the future course of action," NSG chief J N Choudhury told PTI.
The NSG hubs were set up after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks with the first four stations in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. Locating NSG in all the four corners of the country is aimed at rushing in the commandos for any counter-terror and counter-hijack operation in quick time.
The response time taken by the 'black cat' commandos force for countering the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 had come under criticism and therefore the government had decided to station the commandos at various locations so that crucial time was not lost in transit.
Officials said the Gujarat government has offered NSG two locations in the vicinity of Ahmedabad which can be easily by the elite force. NSG was raised in 1984 as a federal contingency force to counter terrorist-sponsored activities.