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Aero India 2023

Security at Indian airports strengthened

Security beefed up at Delhi International Airport. File photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): Security at airports across the country was strengthened in the wake of intelligence inputs that terrorists may strike these facilities before this weekend ahead of the anniversary of demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

Top officials of Civil Aviation Ministry, Air Force, BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) and DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) held a meeting here to review the preparedness of "different layers" of the security and safety mechanism in airports as well as in the airspace in the wake of these inputs, official sources said.

Authorities had received "specific" information that terrorists were planning to attack airports on December three, four or five, sources said.

Keeping this in mind, sources said, "ladder-point" security checks have been introduced.

The top officials during their meeting also identified certain "immediate steps" that needed to be taken in case of an emergency situation, sources said.

Major airports across the country, especially those in the western region, have been on high alert and extra vigil for the past few days following the terror strikes in Mumbai.

Extra surveillance has been mounted in most of the airports, with additional Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and police personnel being deployed to keep an eye on the terminal as well as the perimeter and the elite National Security Guard (NSG) on standby.

Sniffer dogs have been deployed in some airports, while watchers in plainclothes were also put on the job. Sky Marshals were being put on planes flying on sensitive routes, sources said.

Steps have been taken to depute additional manpower for 24-hour monitoring of close circuit TVs (CCTVs) in and around the airport terminal buildings, sources said, adding that at certain airports, more CCTVs were being put up. Additional barricading was being done along the entry points of the airports to thoroughly check incoming vehicles while armed security personnel were also being deployed at vantage points, they said.

The CISF has been instructed to carry out hundred per cent checking of both check-in and hand baggages, besides personal checking, they said and added that all emergency equipment have also been put on alert.

The BCAS, the security planner for airports and air traffic, has also issued advisory asking passengers to carry a valid identification proof and to be prepared for thorough security checks.

A Disaster Management Group has also been kept on the stand-by for a quick response to any kind of emergency situation.

Since the daring terror attacks in Mumbai, a series of meetings have been held among officials of the CISF, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the Civil Aviation Ministry.

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