Sri Lanka Informally ‘Reaches Out’ For NSG Help
Sri Lanka — stunned by a spate of terror attacks— has sought assistance from India’s elite anti-terror commandos for operations as well as investigation against local terror cells.
Colombo has informally reached out to New Delhi over dispatching NSG commandos, sources said. India, however, as a matter of principle does not want to send troops to a foreign land out of own volition and would rather wait for a formal request, sources added.
A crack team of counter-terror NSG commandos has been put on standby in Chennai following Friday raids in Sri Lanka in which 15 persons were killed.
A home ministry official said: “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 Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremasighe has thanked India for providing intelligence ahead of attacks and sought future assistance to counter threats.
106 suspects, including a Tamil medium teacher and a school principal, have been arrested in Sri Lanka in connection with the Easter Sunday blasts, Lankan police said Sunday. Colombo on Saturday banned National Thowheeth Jamaat (NTJ) — a splinter group with ISIS links. The Islamic State terror group, in a statement published early Sunday through its propaganda news agency Amaq, claimed that the three terrorists who blew themselves up during the gun battle were its members.
As first reported by ET, a two-member team from Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) is camping in Colombo. Ahead of the attacks, India had issued three alerts, specifically warning about the use of highly radicalised suicide bombers attacking churches and the Indian High Commission in Colombo.