The Union Home Ministry has decided to deploy National Security Guard commandos, also known as Black Cats, for counter-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir. It comes in the wake of growing incidents of encounters where security forces have lost many soldiers during high-risk house intervention operations in densely populated areas.

Border Security Force (BSF) public relations officer Vishnu Bandhoo informed the media that the commandos are stationing at Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters at Humhama, near Srinagar Airpot and they will be put to use soon after their acclimatisation programme is over. The teams will be kept at the disposal of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which is the nodal agency for all anti-militancy operations.

Amid political uncertainties in the state, the terror activities have increased exponentially especially after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by the security forces on July 8, 2016. The state has witnessed huge protests and clashes between locals and security forces.

In many instances, the militants have managed to escape under the heavy stone-pelting on security forces. It is for this reason that the expertise of NSG in high-risk anti-terror operations has been called for.

The NSG commandos are equipped with sophisticated Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine guns, sniper rifles, through-the-wall radar and C-4 explosives to eliminate holed up terrorists without causing much damage to the structure. They are also trained to conduct counter-terrorist tasks, including counter-hijacking tasks on land, sea, and air; bomb disposal (search, detection and neutralization of IEDs); PBI (post-blast investigation) and hostage rescue missions.

NSG is the second special forces to be deployed in Jammu and Kashmir for counter-terror operations. In recent years, Garud commandos, the special forces from the Indian Air Force, were also deployed in the valley to gain operational experience.