30 July, 2021

Black Cats Cross The Road

Post retirement, NSG's crack commandos find no takers for their battle skills in a lawless civilian life. They pine for a steady job, guarding the rich.

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Black Cats Cross The Road
  • Forty-three-year-old Prem Singh Lakra's life has changed since he became a bodyguard to the managing director of a prominent Delhi hotel chain. Not so long ago, he was a Black Cat, belonging to the National Security Guards (NSG), the crack 16-year-old force of some of India's best soldiers entrusted with guarding the lives of the country's VVIPs. Today, Lakra has to smile more often and dress sharper for the comfortable salary he is being paid to guard—and if need be take the bullet for—his employer. Agreed there's no sense of pride here of being directly responsible for national security, but it's a job nonetheless. And it's a job that, luckily for Lakra, is also fairly paying: Rs 8,000 a month. "The jawans at the border get killed for much less," says he. His experience has taught him that assassins first train their guns on the bodyguard or the driver and then the intended victim to avoid being obstructed by the two. Lakra's past duties have included being part of the team that swooped down on Sivarasan, prime suspect in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and a...

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