Delhi gets own QAT: 50 handpicked CRPF commandos to deal with IEDs, 26/11-style attacks

Sources said the idea to have a QAT in the National Capital was suggested by Zulfiqar Hasan, who is serving as Special D-G in the CRPF

Ankur Sharma January 18, 2022 18:45:29 IST
Delhi gets own QAT: 50 handpicked CRPF commandos to deal with IEDs, 26/11-style attacks

The Delhi QAT commandos have been trained by senior officers who served in Kashmir for years and handled major anti-terror operations. Representative image/CRPF Handout

Fifty handpicked commandos from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), awarded for eliminating hundreds of terrorists in Kashmir and Naxals in red zones, will now be the prime responders in case of any terror or suicide attack in and around the National Capital.

Inspired by the CRPF’s elite Quick Action Team (QAT) in the Valley, the force has a new Delhi QAT which can respond within minutes in case of any fidayeen (suicide) or terror attack in Delhi and nearby areas on receiving instructions from the government.

The bunch of 50 young gunslingers will be equipped with all the latest and highly sophisticated weapons and machines for day and night operations.

The commandos have been trained by senior officers who served in Kashmir for years and handled major anti-terror operations. They have also been trained in detecting and handling improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The commandos have further undergone months-long training in operations in urban areas, especially in metropolitan cities that remain crowded. They have also been trained at night, in low vision. Sources said the team has received special training to deal with situations in high-rise buildings.

The team will be equipped with MP-5 submachine guns, sniper rifles, light machine guns, AK-47s, corner shot (a weapon accessory) and under barrel grenade launchers among other weapons. The team will also have night vision goggles, radars, in-wall scanners, and robots equipped with weapons for day and night operations.

For the first time, the team, in groups, has been placed at strategic locations for Republic Day as high alert has been sounded in Delhi ahead of 26 January.

This elite team will also boost two CRPF wings responsible for Parliament security and for protecting VVIPs like Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi family, BJP President JP Nadda et al.

The Delhi QAT team includes commandos who have won the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) for eliminating terrorists and Naxals in operations, including commanders of terror outfits like JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen.

Speaking to News18.com, a top-level officer privy to the development explained the idea behind raising the QAT for the national capital, which already has multiple agencies, including the National Security Guards (NSG).

“The commandos who have been handpicked have first-hand experience in dealing with terrorists and Naxals. These commandos have served in Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, and are experts in dealing with terror situations, hostage situations, encounters, handling IEDs etc in urban as well as jungle areas. Each one of them is sufficient to deal with a bunch of terrorists. This team has been deployed for CRPF, but will work as per government order in case of any attack," the officer said.

Asked about the working and deployment of the commandos, the officer told News18.com that the team will have a base camp in Delhi, close to vital installations like the Parliament complex. The official added that two groups from the team will be deployed at different locations for Republic Day.

“The team will camp in the heart of the national capital so that in case of any attack they can reach within minutes and handle the situation," the officer said.

“The CRPF also gives protection to VVIPs and protects Parliament. This team will work as the primary back-up for them in case of any terror attack," the officer added.

Sources said the idea to have a QAT in the National Capital was suggested by Zulfiqar Hasan, who is serving as Special D-G in the CRPF. Hasan has served in Jammu and Kashmir and has picked ace officers and commandos from the Valley QAT for the Delhi team.

The CRPF’s Valley QAT and CoBRA are the most decorated wings among all central armed forces and bag the highest number of gallantry medals every year. Officers and jawans from these wings have also been awarded the Shaurya and Kirti Chakras for their bravery.

The Valley QAT was prepared to operate effectively on intelligence and take quick action during any terror situation. The team gives additional support to the entire security setup. Jawans in this team shoot to kill and are experts in handling arms and ammunition.

This story will be updated on receiving a response from the CRPF.

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