Every year, the Raising Day of the National Security Guard (NSG) is celebrated on 16 October. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the establishment of the NSG, popularly known as Black Cats.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah extended his best wishes to the Black Cats on its 37th Raising Day, calling it a "formidable force has left no stone unturned to live up to its motto 'Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha'".
An elite striking force, the NSG was established in 1984 after the Union Cabinet decided to create a "Federal Contingency Force" that was "well trained to tackle the various manifestations of terrorism."
According to the official website of the NSG, a bill for the establishment of the elite striking force was sent to the President by the Parliament in 1986. The President signed his assent on 22 September, 1986, and the NSG came into existence. The force is intended to be deployed in exceptional circumstances only and is not meant to take over the functions of other paramilitary forces or state police forces.
The task-oriented force comprises two complementary elements in the form of the Special Action Group (SAG). The SAG is formed of army personnel as well as the Special Ranger Groups, which comprise of personnel drawn from State Police Forces/Central Armed Police Forces. It has six operational centres, with plans for the seventh one in Pathankot.
The NSG is capable of handling a variety of high pressure situations such as terrorist attacks, hostage captivity and hijackings. It also used to handle VIP security in the country, till a decision to withdraw the force from the same was taken in 2020 by the Central government. Modelled on the UK's Special Air Services (SAS) and Germany's GSG-9, the Black Cats have played a significant role in the 2008 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and the aftermath of the 2002 Akshardham temple attack in Gujarat.
One of the most memorable missions of the Black Cats was the 'Operation Black Tornado' of 2008, when NSG commandos stormed the Nariman House, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Oberoi Trident hotel, and coordinating with personnel of other forces, killed all terrorists who had laid siege to the sites during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.