Sri Lanka, which was recently stunned by a series of bomb blasts earlier this month, has now sought help from National Security Guard (NSG) commandos for conducting operations as well as investigations against the local terror modules. ET has reported that, as per sources, Colombo has informally reached out to Delhi, asking for assistance from the elite anti-terror commandos. However, as a matter of principle, India is not keen on sending troops out of own volition and would wait for a formal request from Sri Lanka for the same. A team of NSG commandos has been put on standby in Chennai.
According to a Home Ministry official, “Considering expertise of NSG in post-blast investigations, we have asked them to be on standby. They will be assisted by their seniors from New Delhi. Over 100 commandos of the counter-terror and counter-hijack squads of the NSG have been based at the hub. The final decision to deploy them for assistance in the neighboring country will be taken by the foreign ministry of the two nations.”
Sri Lanka seems to be looking at Indian assistance as key to combating terrorism in the island country. In fact, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also acknowledged India’s role. He thanked India for providing intelligence inputs ahead of the terror attacks and also sought assistance in future from India.
Sri Lanka has been cracking down on terrorism since the Easter blasts on Sunday. The Lankan police has stated that 106 suspects have been arrested in connection with the devastating blasts. Those arrested include a Tamil medium teacher and a school principal. National Thowheeth Jamaat (NTJ), an organization having ISIS links, has also been banned. Meanwhile, the Islamic State terror group published a statement in its propaganda news agency Amaq and claimed that the suicide attackers who blew themselves during the gun battle were its members.
The ET had earlier reported that a two-member R&AW and IB team is camping in Colombo. Moreover, before the terror attacks, India had issued three alerts warning about terror attacks by highly radicalized suicide bombers in churches and the Indian High Commission.
It is clear that Indian counter-terror mechanism has been acting in a highly efficient manner and seems capable of battling terrorism, not only within India, but beyond its limits as well. This is the reason why Sri Lanka is looking forward to India’s assistance as far as cracking down on terrorism is concerned.