Media must exercise control during terror attacks: Aulakh

New Delhi : Director General N.P.S. Aulakh, chief of the National Security Guard (NSG) that ended the 26/11 terror siege, says the media should exercise control in such situations as some operations then were exposed due to live coverage.

“Some NSG operations were exposed due to live coverage of the 26/11 terror attack,” Aulakh told IANS in an interview. The elite force had cleared terrorists from the Taj Hotel and Nariman House, gunning down eight of the 10 Mumbai terrorists.

“The media should exercise some control on itself on how much they should report from the scene so that anti-national elements do not take any advantage of it,” said Aulakh. In March, he had taken over from J.K. Dutt who was NSG chief at the time of 26/11.

The NSG had lost two of its men, Gajender Singh Bisht and Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, during the operations. Unnikrishnan’s father, during a lecture last month, accused the NSG of not doing anything for the family. He was also upset at his son’s name being misspelt on a war memorial.

But Aulakh said the name had been corrected on the memorial and the issue had been resolved.

As for the NSG helping Major Unnikrishnan’s family, he said: “Since the NSG does not have a cadre of its own and draws men from the army and other central paramilitary forces on deputation, the men are taken care of by their parent organisations.

“In Sandeep’s case, we have written to the army to look into that,” he said.

He said the NSG does not have welfare schemes like the army and the central paramilitary forces.

Asked if the NSG has any proposal to directly recruit people like the other forces, he said: “We do not have plan to have cadre of our own.”

At least 166 people were killed when 10 terrorists of the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) went on a killing spree at many places in Mumbai for three days from Nov 26 last year. The terrorists were armed with grenades, Ak-47 assault rifles, RDX, a large amount of ammunition, satellite phones, modern communication devices and dry fruits.

They had divided themselves into groups of two each and attacked the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital and the Jewish hub Nariman House.

Eight of them were finally gunned down by the NSG, while one was killed by police and one was caught alive.

The NSG Black Cats, called so because of the black nomex overalls and balaclavas or assault helmets they wear, finally helped end the 60-hour terror siege of Mumbai that seriously strained ties between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan initially denied its citizens were involved but did a U-turn following an avalanche of evidence painstakingly gathered by investigators both in India and other countries.

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