Ex-NSA Narayanan reveals mind against four commando hubs

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 15:50 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan Friday expressed reservations about establishing four regional hubs of the elite National Security Guard (NSG), one of the issues that created a chasm between him, in his previous avtar of National Security Advisor, and then home minister P. Chidambaram following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Delivering the first lecture of a series initiated by the NSG to mark its raising day, Narayanan also said that he was concerned over moves to increase the strength of the force.

"I am concerned on the current emphasis on increasing the size and numbers of the NSG. I also have reservations about the establishment of the four regional hubs," the former NSA said here, admitting that he was speaking against conventional wisdom.

"The NSG is an elite special force intended to meet a specific situation and not intended to confront a normal law and order situation. Its strength does not lie in its numbers," he said at the event, attended among others by Indian Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi, Intelligence Bureau Director Nehchal Sandhu and NSG Director General Subhash Joshi.

"Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it consists of the bravest of the brave personnel having a great virtue and ability; specially trained for undertaking the most difficult of tasks; and provided with the best equipment available in the world," Narayanan said.

"The increasing numbers, to my mind, is bound to dilute both the quality and capability of the force," he emphasised.

Narayanan's reported differences with Chidambaram in the aftermath of the 26/11 strike is said to be the reason for his being shifted out as the National Security Adviser to the gubernatorial post in the Kolkata Raj Bhavan.

Narayanan was NSA from 2005 to 2010 under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The four NSG hubs at Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, that have been set up since 2010, were born out of criticism during the Mumbai attacks after the elite commando unit reached the megalopolis only the next morning, almost six hours after the attack began.

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