NEW DELHI: Security was tightened at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport following an intelligence alert that terrorists may target Air India flights going to Afghanistan, officials said.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which looks after the airport’s internal security, has been asked to be on alert and keep a tab on the activities of every person.
Besides, Delhi Police, which is in charge of security outside the airport, was also put on alert.
“Security has been extended and policemen have been increased,” Deputy commissioner of police (IGI) MI Haider said. CISF spokesperson Hemendra Singh said security has been tight since the last two months.
“Flights going to Afghanistan are being monitored carefully,” he said.
Earlier, Intelligence agencies have warned that a Delhi-Kabul flight may be hijacked by terrorists.
The input is quite specific and also mentions that an Air India flight could be targeted.
A high alert has been sounded after the intelligence input. IGI airport has been alerted and stringent checks of even the staff members have been instructed.
The authorities have put in place multi-level checking and have issued strictures to ensure they are followed judiciously.
An additional ladder-point check has also been made compulsory. The security checks are expected to take more time now.
Sources said that the ground staff has been asked to thoroughly check all cabin baggage once the passengers boarded.
Commandos will also patrol the adjoining areas of the airport with LMG-mounted vehicles.
Police launch probe into threat call to Air India office
A day after a threat call was received at the city office of the Air India, Special Task Force and detective department of the Kolkata Police launched an investigation while security has been beefed up at the NSC Bose International Airport.
A special team set up with officials of the STF and detective department was trying to track the number from which the call was made to the national carrier’s city office, a senior police officer said.
“After a complaint was lodged with the police yesterday, STF and detective department have been jointly looking into the case. Security has been tightened in the Air India office,” the officer said.
An Air India spokesman said appropriate security agencies like the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) are looking into the issue.
Meanwhile, security has also been upgraded at the NSC Bose International Airport here following the threat call.
In 1999, Indian Airlines flight IC 814 was hijacked by terrorists who took it to Kandahar in Afghanistan and demanded the release of three terrorists from Indian prisons in return for the passengers.
(With inputs from IANS, PTI)