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CISF prepares to become NSG substitute for VIP security

NEW DELHI: In an apparent indication of the thinking within the ministry of home affairs (MHA) that VIP security should be gradually moved away from NSG, the country’s elite counterterror force, CISF is strengthening its VIP protection unit to become the premier agency in the sector in near future. There are already efforts being made to increase manpower in the unit with MHA considering a proposal for the same.

CISF DG Arvind Ranjan said he has asked MHA to sanction more number of personnel in the unit. At the same time, rigorous training is being provided to personnel in the unit with help from NSG and armed forces trainers. CISF is regularly holding joint exercises with NSG to adopt best practices in VIP security from the force.

Ranjan said, “We are aiming to make CISF the best force for VIP security. We want to create a sense of security in the minds of VIPs so that they have no hesitation taking CISF security.”

Importantly, VIPs are known to demand NSG security, also known as Black Cat commandoes, as VIP cover as it is the best trained force in the country. However, NSG was not created for VIP security but to counter terror attacks. There have been various voices raised from within the force and the security establishment that NSG must be divested of VIP security duties and focus on its core competence.

Incidentally, Ranjan headed NSG before he was made CISF chief. Speaking to TOI, he said, “We have also asked for a periodic review of strength in our VIP security unit so that the force has optimum strength at any given to provide VIP security.”

Sources said the force was also being given unarmed combat training so that when VIPs interact with public and there is sudden unarmed attack, the VIP can be protected without the use of weapons. “Not all times you need to use weapons. Certain situations are best diffused with bare hands,” said an officer with the force.

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