People with forged e-tickets have emerged as the new threat to Delhi airport security with 30 such persons being arrested in the past 14 months.
The security at the Indira Gandhi International Airport is at maximum alert in the wake of the Brussels terror attack and multiple hoax bomb calls received almost daily.
The tickets are not checked at the entry gates and passengers only have to show a print-out along with an identification document. Most of those who were caught with forged tickets were nabbed when they were exiting the building. Many of them could not give convincing reasons for going out when stopped by the security personnel. It is then that their tickets were checked and found to be fake.
Officials said it is dangerous since a person is allowed to enter the airport building when he shows the e-ticket and an ID. Even the baggage is only cursorily checked at the entry point.
The Central Industry Security Force (CISF), the force responsible for airport security, said installation of PNR readers at the gate can reduce the risk as frisking is not possible.
“The machine may be installed at the entry gate instead of checking every e-ticket manually. The officer posted at the gate can check the ticket with the machine before allowing entry. This will ensure that nobody with an illegal ticket gain entry to the airport building,” said a senior CISF official.
In 2015, 23 passengers were caught when they were going out of the airport. This year (till February 29) seven passengers have been caught. In 2014, 16 people were caught with fake e-tickets.
“We were lucky that none of the 30 people were terrorists. We need to install PNR readers at the entry gate,” the official said.
“We conduct a random security check at the entry gate but will enhance it now,” said a CISF official.
Only in Srinagar passengers are frisked at the entry gate.
Security was heightened on Sunday after a call was received that there were bombs in six flights. Earlier this week, five Jet Airways flights and 11 flights of Indigo were grounded following similar calls.
“A hotel in Janakpuri received a call about bomb in six flights. The hotel staff informed the local police, which in turn informed the airport police. Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) was formed which termed the call as ‘non-specific’,” said an airport official.
Airport sources said that the call was termed as ‘non-specific’ as the caller had given random flight details while in previous cases, specific flight numbers were received. However, Jet Airways and Air India flights were searched as the caller had taken names of these airlines.