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Sunday, March 27, 2016

the man who fought terrorists - in charge of security of Indian Cricket team

27th Mar – a tense day (night) for Indian cricket fans ~ will India win ? and reach the Semis ??  - as India plays an unchanged side with some of its stars regularly failing..

A few years ago, Indian Express carried an article on this NSG commando - Brigadier (retd) Govind Singh Sisodia, a former DIG — who lead the commando operation and was flown to Mumbai along with his jawans from New Delhi — catching Ajmal Kasab was the biggest achievement of the operation. "If he was killed like the rest of the nine terrorists and not caught alive, India would not have been able to pin down Pakistan the way it did after so many innocent people died in Mumbai that day. Kasab's execution brings a closure to just one chapter of the Pakistan-perpetuated terrorism against India," said Sisodia hailing from Chopal area of Shimla.
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Sisodia, who also interrogated Kasab, recalled that he was "quite a sharp person". "He was very forthcoming on whatever I asked him, like how and why he came to Mumbai. I sat with him on the floor in the interrogation room and spoke in Punjabi. He replied with clarity," he added.  The task of flushing out terrorists from Hotel Taj and Nariman Point was not easy, he recalled while remembering NGO commandos Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Gajender Singh who died in action. "The sacrifice by these two commandos made a breakthrough in the operation. The terrorists were cornered and shot dead," said Sisodia.

Himachal had its own heroes. Brigadier Govind Singh Sisodia, posted on deputation as DIG Training in National Security Guards (NSG), Delhi, and Major Amit Bhardwaj were the part of core teams that lead the operation against the terror siege in Mumbai and successfully completed the operation. While Brig. Sisodia hailed from Chopal in Shimla district, Major Bhardwaj, son of retired Colonel M.R. Bhardwaj is from Hiranagar in Hamirpur.  Brig. Sisodia  was injured by a bullet hitting his arm during peace-keeping assignment in Sri Lanka in  1987; he has  lead various operations against the militants in the Kashmir valley.  Brig. Sisodia is the youngest of four brothers of the family and belongs to Bharano village in Chopal district of Shimla. His elder brother K.S. Sisodia retired as a DIG from police and the second one, I.S. Sisodia, retired as Colonel from the Indian Army. His father Sher Singh Sisodia was a retired revenue services officer. 

~ and he is out there in the middle (not exactly in the forefront but in the back) – the man who saved a hundred lives during the Mumbai terror attacks has been  the security in-charge of the Indian team, since the Australian tour early this year.  Daily Mail report puts that Sisodia’s work starts even before the Indian team arrives at a particular destination. He runs a security check of the hotel the team stays in, and the security facilities on offer there. After that, he meets the local police authorities along with the hotel security team and checks the entire security plan as well as noting the entry and exit plans of the hotel. After this, he looks at the route that will be used by the team to travel to the ground. He also works closely with the security officials inside the stadium. And once he is at the ground, security assigned for the team works under his instructions as he monitors every individual in and around the area of play and the dressing rooms.

One would imagine that his job is easier on days when the team decides to stay indoors and doesn’t train. But he is never free. After all, he also needs to keep a close eye on fans.  A member of the Indian team management feels that Sisodia’s greatest strength is his calm demeanour. India's cricketers are said to love asking Sisodia for stories about his past work in counter-terror.

In today’s first match thought to be of little significance, Afghanistan bid T20WC goodbye by beating table-toppers West Indies by six runs in a low-scoring thriller. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khanbacked up their captain's confidence with figures of 2 for 26 each and kept West Indies to 117 in their chase of 124. West Indies finished as the No. 1 team in Group 1 and will take on either India or Australia in the semi-final, but they will go to Mumbai with a sobering defeat.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Mar 2016.

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