Indian airports on high alert | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:33 AM, February 24, 2019


Indian airports on high alert

Airports across India have been put on high alert yesterday after an airline's operation centre in Mumbai got a call that an Indian carrier's flight will be hijacked to Pakistan.

This will mean enhanced security at airports, including stricter pre-boarding screening of passengers and of vehicles going to car park.

The telephonic threat was made to Air India's airport operation control centre yesterday about an Indian Airlines (erstwhile AI domestic) flight being hijacked to Pakistan. While security at airports had been enhanced after the Pulwama attack, the threat saw the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issuing a list of dos for all airport and airline operators.

The BCAS has asked for very strict access to terminals and operational areas; intensive checks of vehicles at airports; enhanced screening of passengers, staffers, baggage, cargo and catering and more random checks at airport entry point.

Perimeter security has been sought to be increased also, including deployment of quick reaction teams (QRT). While the threat could well be a hoax or a prank, security agencies don't take such calls lightly and do not leave anything to chance.

The hijack threat came in the midst of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the attack by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama that left 40 Indian paramilitary men dead on February 14.

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