20 Mar : The army’s Special Forces to fight terror will be in place in Bangalore by this month-end with a six-fold increase in its strength to nearly 600 personnel, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said.
"The Special Forces will be strengthened in two phases. In the first phase, approximately 250 persons of all ranks and in the second phase another 250 persons will reach Bengaluru," Chidambaram told reporters in Bangalore on Friday.
The concept of Special Forces was mooted after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.Chidambaram said by the end of this month "we will have approximately 600 persons of all ranks of Special Forces Batallion at Bengaluru".
The Home Minister was on a day’s visit to the Army’s Special Forces Unit, set-up in the city, having 100 personnel from all ranks, who can be deployed at a very short notice.
The Home Minister, during his address to the conference of Chief Ministers of Internal Security in January this year, had said that in addition to setting up NSG hubs in four metros, trained anti-terror force units will be set up by the defence forces.
As per the plan, Bangalore is being covered by the Army and the Special Forces are stationed with Territorial Army Batallion in Benson town but eventually they would be moved to a new location in Hebbai.
Army chief General Deepak Kapoor had said in New Delhi on Thursday that the force was trying to "meet the requirements" for expansion of NSG."We have a large deficiency of officers especially at the younger level. We will see how best we can meet the requirements of both the Army as well as for NSG expansion. We have tried to grapple with this problem and hopefully we will find a solution," he had said.
After the government decided to expand the NSG in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes and set up its bases in four major cities Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai the army was asked to provide additional troops and officers for it.
The plans are facing obstacles with army expressing its inability to provide over 200 additional officers of the ranks of Captains and Majors needed for phase I expansion of the NSG.