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GURUGRAM: India’s federal counter-terrorist force NSG has trained a select group of personnel who protect the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, the chief of the commando force said on Friday.

In his address on the occasion of the force’s 36th Raising Day, NSG director general (additional charge) SS Deswal said the force has acquired the most modern weapons and equipments to distinguish itself as a “world class zero-error force”.

“The NSG close protection force has trained 21 personnel of Sri Lanka’s PM security division in close protection skills. The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka wrote to the Indian PM and praised the training,” Deswal said.

He, however, did not mention the time period when these personnel were trained by the NSG.

The national security guard, also known as the ‘black cat’ commandos, was raised as a federal contingency force in 1984 to undertake specialist counter-terrorist, counter-hijack and hostage rescue operations.

It has a special component called the CPF (close protection force) that provides security to high-risk VIPs under the top category Z+ cover.

It has about 13 protectees under its charge at present, including defence minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah.

Deswal said the CPF, during the Covid-19 outbreak, provided security to its VIPs in about 4,000 events held in various states.

The NSG DG said the force had enhanced its mobility, training, weaponry and equipment by “many times” as terrorism is a complex and global problem in this century and the tactics of terrorists were changing and terror groups were possessing modern weapons.

“We are determined to adopt modern technology and specialisation,” the DG said during the event at the force’s garrison here that was chaired by Union minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy.

He said the force has been training special combat units of state police forces so that they are better prepared to combat terrorist incidents even as he invited them to share NSG’s expertise in counter-terrorism, bomb disposal and sniffer dogs training.

“Post the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008 we have corrected and upgraded in many areas, the force has remotely operated vehicles, satellite communications system, armoured robots, unmanned aerial vehicle detection radar system and anti-drone capabilities,” Deswal said.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

People who never tested positive turning up with post-Covid issues

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MUMBAI: A senior citizen suffering from breathlessness, exertion and dry cough visited a Navi Mumbai hospital. The 60-year-old had never tested positive for Covid, but a lung function test showed restriction consistent with Covid features.

A high-resolution CT scan revealed mild residual Covid lesions caused by the immune response in fighting the virus and some fuzziness in the lungs. The doctors ruled out other illnesses by conducting more investigations. The patient revealed that he had travelled to pilgrim towns, including Varanasi, prior to the lockdown in February-March and that he had mild fever for a few days.

On the basis of his history and his condition, they concluded that it was a case of post-Covid. He was treated with steroids and inhaler. While this was a stray case in June, doctors are now reporting more instances of patients who have never tested positive landing in hospitals with post-Covid symptoms. They report a history of fever or cough, which subsides in a day or two and which they may have ignored.

But with symptoms resurfacing, many are being subjected to the RTPCR test where results come negative. But the same patients then test positive in the antibody test, indicating a history of Covid. Doctors claim many may’ve neglected signs of Covid earlier as mild symptoms subside in a day or two.

Dr Jayalakshmi T K, a consultant pulmonologist with Apollo Hospital in Navi Mumbai, has seen about 30 such patients who have never tested positive but come with breathlessness and unexplained lung ailments. “We ask for their history. Then they reveal they might have had fever two or three months ago.

The RT-PCR would be negative, but a CT scan shows typical Covid-like features and it is fairly confirmatory. A high CO-RADS score is suggestive of Covid and in some cases, the antibody tests too come positive although that need not necessarily mean that the symptoms are because of Covid,” she said.

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INDIA

Pakistan still a haven for terror, India says on FATF decision eve

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NEW DELHI: With the ongoing plenary of terror watchdog FATF likely to decide on Friday if Pakistan should remain in its grey list, India reiterated that Islamabad continued to provide safe haven to terrorist entities and individuals.

The government also said Pakistan had not yet taken any action against several terror entities and individuals, including those proscribed by UNSC like Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim and Zakir-ur-Rahman Lakhvi. All indications are that Pakistan will remain in the grey list for not fulfilling all its commitments to check terror financing and money laundering.

As the MEA said in its statement, it’s understood that Pakistan has addressed only 21 action items so far out of the 27-point FATF Action Plan.

“Six important action items are yet to be addressed,” said spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, adding it was well known that Pakistan’s a haven for terrorists. All six remaining points are said to be related to terror financing.

The issue of Pakistan’s compliance is being looked at the virtual FATF plenary meeting that will get over on October 23. As the official said, Parisbased FATF makes public announcements of its decisions according to its rules and procedures after its Plenary meeting.

“FATF has well laid out standards and procedures for putting a country in its Black List and Grey List. After a country is put on a List, an action plan is given to it and the country concerned is expected to fully complete the action plan within the stipulated time. Those found wanting in implementing their obligations are held accountable and subjected to appropriate action,” he said.

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INDIA

LAC stand-off: India rejects China’s demand, but talks on

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NEW DELHI: As India and China maintain stable but confrontational positions in eastern Ladakh, the external affairs ministry on Thursday said that “the immediate task is to ensure a comprehensive disengagement of troops in all the friction areas”.

The two sides are reportedly engaged in high-level talks to resolve the stand-off. According to sources, China has been asking for a de-escalation of armoured and artillery units before disengagement. That is unacceptable to the Indian side because China has a much easier route to re-arm its troops, unlike India.

“India and China continue to have discussions through both diplomatic and military channels to peacefully resolve the issues along the LAC in India-China border areas. This is in keeping with the agreement reached between the two foreign ministers during their meeting in Moscow on September 10,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing.

Srivastava also referred to the last round of diplomatic parleys between India and China on September 30 and the seventh round of military talks on October 12.

“The two sides have reiterated their desire to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible,” he added.

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