MUMBAI: Memories of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack came alive as Home Minister P. Chidambaram inaugurated the new regional hub of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) here Thursday.
The NSG unit in Mumbai was launched June 30, 2009 - eight months after the Nov 26-29, 2008 terror attack - at Kalina, Santacruz East, as part of the overall security measures implemented to secure the country's commercial capital.
Chidambaram said the government has allocated Rs.12 billion during the 12th Plan to modernise and develop the NSG.
"It is among the best commando forces in the world and the government is committed to strengthen it," Chidambaram said, asking the NSG to work closely with similar forces in Russia, France, Israel and keep abreast of the latest counter-terrorism techniques.
The fully equipped new NSG unit is located on a 23-acres plot in Andheri East, with the aim of reducing the response time and reaching the area of operations quickly in case of a terror attack.
The NSG had played a crucial role during the Mumbai terror attack by neutralizing the nine of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who held the city to ransom for three days.
However the state and central governments had faced flak for the delayed arrival of the NSG squad - popularly known as Black Cats - from New Delhi to Mumbai, and a need was felt to set up a regional unit here.
The government has set up similar facilities in Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
The NSG has been primarily utilized for counter-terrorism activities and is modeled on the lines of UK's Special Air Service and Germany's Grenz Schutz Gruppe-9.