Intel input likely behind NSG mock drill at Symbi 

Prateek Goyal 
Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Why mock drills are important 
According to sources at Ministry of Home Affairs, the mock drills are generally conducted on the basis of intelligence input of possible terror strikes.  Pune has witnessed terror attacks in the past as well. It has a large number of domestic and foreign students as well as working professionals, which makes it a prominent target.

Pune: With the rising threat of terror strikes in major cities in India, a seven-hour long mock drill was carried out by National Security Guard (NSG) commandos at Symbiosis College, Senapati Bapat Road campus on Tuesday night. 

It may be recalled that an alert regarding the possible terror strikes at important cities of India was issued by the Intelligence Bureau in June and cities were asked to step up the security. KS Datwalia. Director General (Media and Communication), Ministry of Home Affairs, said, “Such drills are carried out in order to hone the skills of NSG so that they can act efficiently during terror attacks. Generally, mock drills are carried out at places which are most likely to get targeted.” 

Students were informed 
The students living in the SB Road campus of Symbiosis College were informed in advance about the NSG anti-terrorist exercise and were asked to remain inside their rooms till completion of the exercise. 

The mock drill started at 10 pm on Tuesday and continued till 5 am on Wednesday. The exercise was conducted in the basement parking, auditorium, arts and commerce college, canteen, and the hostels. The NSG contingent was flown in from New Delhi to conduct the drill. 

Roads blocked 
One side of the Senapati Bapat Road starting from Ganeshkhind to NCC ground was blocked by the police during the mock drill. 

Rumours were rife of a bomb having been planted or terrorists being present at Symbiosis College. 

NS Aulakh, former director general of NSG, when asked about the reason for NSG mock drill at Symbiosis College, said, “There can be numerous reasons for a mock drill ranging from Intel input to routine drill. These decisions are internal decisions of NSG and they act according to it. We should keep on conducting such mock drills for better preparedness.” 

Input on potential threat? 

Major General (Retd) GD Bakshi, a renowned security expert said, “Definitely agencies must have received some input which is why this drill was conducted. Based on intelligence inputs our elite forces anticipate the likely situation and conduct the drill in a similar area or situation.” 

NC Padhi, former special director of Intelligence Bureau, said, “Such kinds of drills don’t take place normally. There may be some potential threat or input of similar nature which is why such a drill has taken place.” 

Another former director general of NSG, Rajan Medhekar said, “Mock drill can be conducted on intelligence input or can be routine. NSG carried out 4-5 mock drills in a month at potential targets.” 
 

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