The Union home ministry has asked the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to deploy personnel in areas right outside Metro stations, including parking sites.
The ministry’s move, which follows a shootout in April at the Karkardooma Metro station, was prompted by intelligence that the utility’s properties could be made targets of terror strikes, sources said.
The CISF, which now has around 5,000 personnel for 134 Metro stations, has demanded that around 3,500 more jawans be made available to man areas outside stations.
“Almost every Metro station has adjacent parking space. Such parking lots are sensitive areas,” a senior CISF officer said requesting he not be named.
“Delhi Police was earlier asked to provide security in the areas. Later, the CISF was entrusted with safeguarding Metro tracks, parking lots and other areas around the stations,” the officer added.
The shootout on the premises of the Karkardooma Metro station had raised hackles and prompted many to question security at transport hubs in the city.
“Although we now don’t have enough personnel to guard parking lots, our quick reaction teams conduct random checks. After more jawans are made available, better security can be arranged,” the official added.
The CISF was responsible for the security of the stations and the Delhi Police in areas around them. As CISF personnel start frisking passengers only at the main station areas, the Delhi Police was asked to take responsibility for all entry points and parking lots at the stations.
At elevated stations, the CISF jawans were usually posted on the first and second floors. As a result, the ground floor remained unmanned.
“There are several areas where there was no CISF presence,” a police source said.
Despite several demands, the Delhi Police could not deploy personnel in the areas purportedly because of a shortage of staff.
“We only have 200 personnel in the railway unit. We have demanded around 2,000 personnel,” a senior Delhi Police officer said. “It is important to increase policing in these areas to deter criminals.”