Ibrahimpatnam (Telangana), Apr 10 (PTI) The government is exploring ways to enhance the role of the elite counter-terror force NSG in the wake of the “serious challenge” posed by newly-devised terror techniques such as mowing down civilians using large vehicles and lone wolf attacks, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here today.

He asked special forces such as the National Security Guard (NSG) to prepare themselves to tackle threats in the backdrop of these new emerging threats.

Singh was in Telangana on a day-long tour to inaugurate a 200-acre complex of the special composite group (SCG) number 28 of the NSG in the Ranga Reddy district of the state. The camp is about 33-km from state capital Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International airport.

Addressing the officers of the commando force and those from the state police, the minister said the terrorist minds keep on devising and adopting “new tactics” to unleash death and mayhem.

“We have seen across the globe, like in New York, London, Spain and Stockholm, that a large vehicle is used by terror elements to mow down people. Also, the do it yourself or lone wolf attacks are being carried out by them to perpetrate terror,” he said.

“The terrorists are adopting cruel and barbaric techniques like I mentioned. This is a serious challenge and special forces like the NSG should prepare themselves to tackle these emerging threats,” Singh said.

The home minister said social media has made “easy” the contact and coordination between terror groups.

He said the central government is thinking and planning as to how the NSG’s role could be “enlarged” vis-a-vis the new security challenges faced by the country, as the black cats commando force can play a “big role” in operations such as those where terrorists take a human shield and enter civilian premises.

While the minister did not elaborate on the future role for the NSG, official sources confirmed that the government is working on a proposal to use it during counter-terror operations in the Kashmir Valley.

Singh lauded the security forces for ensuring that no big terror incident has taken place in the hinterland, except in parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The morale of the terrorists is down but they are always looking for chances. Hence, you should continuously keep evolving and enhancing your tactics,” the top boss of the internal security establishment said.

Terrorism, the home minister said, is a threat to entire mankind and it is posing new challenges globally.

The NSG should enhance its technical and tactical capabilities in this context, Singh said.

“Post the 26/11 (2008 Mumbai terror attacks), every agency needs to work round-the-clock and be vigilant to ensure that peace is not breached,” he said.

The minister said there was speculation, post the Mumbai attacks and establishment of the NSG regional hubs, that the elite forces core competence will go down, but that has not happened.

“I am sure the core competence of the NSG will enhance in the future, with the creation of full infrastructure at these hubs like the one here and those in Kolkata and Gandhinagar,” he said.

The NSG hub inaugurated today by the minister is tasked with tackling a terrorist attack or a hostage crisis-like situation in the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The hub was shifted from Begumpet to this town in the Ranga Reddy district few years back and the facility has infrastructure to house about 600 commandos and also to train them.

The construction of the regional hub complex by the Central Public Works Department commenced in 2013 and the total project cost was Rs 157.84 crore.

The force has also stationed a small counter-terror and counter-hijack task force of commands at the Hyderabad airport.

During the event, NSG director General (DG) Sudeep Lakhtakia said the force is continuously enhancing its techniques, tactics and strategies to render its special task.

The NSG was raised in 1984 as a federal force against terror incidents and apart from these operations, it also provides proximate security to cover a dozen Z+ category of VVIPs.

Post the Mumbai attacks, regional hubs were created for the force so that its response time during such incidents would be as short as possible.

The five NSG hubs are located at Hyderabad (Ibrahimpatnam), Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Gandhinagar which house fully equipped commandos to undertake operations any time.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.