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Lecturrete Topic 142 - NSG


The National Security Guard (NSG) is an elite counter-terrorism unit under the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).It was founded on 22 September 1986 under the National Security Guard Act, 1986, following Operation Blue Star, the Golden Temple attack and the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, "for combating terrorist activities and protect states against internal disturbances".

National Security Guard personnel are sometimes referred to as The Black Cat.

 What is its mission?

The National Security Guard states its mission as:

"Train, equip and keep in readiness a special force capable of swiftly and effectively combating terrorism to live up to its motto Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha"

The NSG is a 'Federal Contingency Deployment Force' to tackle all facets of terrorism in the country. As a specialised counter-terrorism force, it is intended to be used "only in exceptional situations" and is not meant to take over the "functions of the State Police Forces or other Para Military Forces". Yet, over the years its role has been expanded to provide personal security to influential politicians regardless of the real threat that they face.

However, in January 2020, the NSG was withdrawn from this task of VIP security to ensure its focus on its original roles as an elite counter-terrorism and anti-hijacking force.

Functions of National Security Guard (NSG)

1. Counter hijacking tasks on land, sea, and air

2. Bomb disposal (search, detection and neutralization of IEDs)

3. Post Blast Investigation (PBI)

4. Hostage Rescue missions like in Taj Hotel during 26/11 Mumbai attack

5. VIP security (like security to Cabinet Ministers and others eminent persons)

The head of NSG, designated as Director General (DG), is selected by the MHA-Home Minister. Since its founding in 1984, the NSG has had 28 DGs, in 31 years, with an average tenure one year and few months.


In the year 1984 the Union Cabinet decided to create a Federal Contingency Force to tackle terror activities on Indian soil. So a bill was introduced in the Indian parliament in August 1986 and the President of India has approved the bill on September 22, 1986 and the National Security Guard (NSG) formally came into existence from that date.

The NSG was also established in the wake of 1984 Operation Blue Star, and the high collateral damage to Golden Temple, and civilian and military collateral casualties. Since its founding the NSG has been used in the Punjab in 1986, and Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the NSG's known operations include:

29–30 April 1986: About 300 NSG commandos and 700 Border Security Force troops stormed the Golden Temple in Operation Black Thunder I. The Temple was cleared and handed over to Punjab Police on 1 May 1986. 300 Sikh militants were captured, and there were no deaths or injuries for either side.

January 1988: The NSG conducted Op Black Hawk, a heliborne operation in the Mand area of Punjab. In this operation two terrorists were killed and one 7.62mm rifle was recovered. It was a massive operation, says former NSG Director-General Ved Marwah, though it did not get many spectacular results like in Black Thunder.

October 1998: As part of the implementation of the Union Home Ministry's decision to conduct pro-active strikes against militants, commando teams supported by IAF Mi-25/35 helicopter gun-ships began striking at terrorist groups deep inside the mountains and forests of Kashmir. After helicopter reconnaissance was conducted to pinpoint the militants, the commandos – comprising NSG and Rashtriya Rifles personnel – were para-dropped, along with supplies, into the area to hunt the militants. They had to rely on these supplies and their ability to live off the land until replenishment every fortnight or so. These missions are possibly ongoing.

October 2002 – Two terrorists attacked the Akshardham temple complex in Gujarat. NSG flew in, delayed by traffic in Delhi. They carried out assaults in which one commando was killed and another one was seriously injured and died after 18 months in a coma. By morning the two terrorists were neutralised and the operation completed successfully.

December 2002 – Terrorists attacked the Raghunath temple in Jammu. NSG was ready to be flown out but was called back at the last minute.

26 November 2008 Mumbai attacks — Operation Black Tornado and Operation Cyclone to flush out terrorists & rescue hostages after multiple attacks across Mumbai, India. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havaldar Gajender Singh Bisht of the Special Action Group were killed during the operations. Over 900 rooms were scanned, 9 terrorists killed and over 600 hostages rescued during the operation.

2016 Pathankot attack - An NSG team took part in the operation to neutralise terrorists where Lt. Col. Niranjan lost his life defusing a grenade or IED booby-trapped on the body of a dead terrorist, and 12 other members of the unit were injured. Six terrorists were neutralised in the operation by the NSG, Defence Security Corps and the Garud Commando Force.

Main operations conducted

i.  Black Thunder

ii.  Ashwamedh

iii. Combat missions in Jammu and Kashmir

iv. Vajra Shakti

v. Black Tornado

Why was the National Security Guard formed?

The basic philosophy behind the establishment of the NSG was to create such a dedicated, responsible and agile task force that can strike speedily on all facets of terrorism in any part of the country as a Federal Contingency Force.

The NSG is a task oriented force that has 2 complementary elements consists of:-

       Special Ranger Groups (SRG)-comprises of personnel drawn from the Central Armed Police Forces and State Police Forces while Special Action Group

        Special Action Group (SAG)- is composed of Army personnel. The National Security Guard (NSG) remains ready 24x7 to meet all challenges to ensure security of the Nation.

Important Facts about National Security Guard

       Head of the NSG: Director-General

       Headquarters: New Delhi

       Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs

       Employees: 7,350 active personnel.

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