The national capital has been put on high alert following attacks at Brussels international airport and a city metro station.
An alert has been sounded and security beefed up at international and domestic airports across the country. In Delhi, an additional layer of security was added at Metro stations and the IGI Airport and frisking of passengers began at aircraft gates too.
At some sensitive airports that were put on high alert after the Pathankot terror attacks, passengers were being asked to remove shoes and jackets during security clearance. The alert, however, was withdrawn recently and passengers were undergoing routine searching and frisking before boarding flights.
“But post attacks in Brussels, the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) asked us to increase the vigil. Now, passengers are first checked at entry gates, then at the security point and then they have to go through Secondary Ladder Point Checking (SLPC) too, just before boarding the plane,” said an official of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
SLPC is conducted when the threat is at its highest level and passengers have to go through with complete frisking just before entering the aircraft. Presently only few airlines, especially those going to US conduct SLPC. Airline staff has been asked to conduct SLPC, either at aerobridge or if they don’t have the facility of aerobridge they can conduct the checking at the apron area.
Quick reaction teams (QRTs), have been stations outside Metro stations in Delhi. The dog squads and bomb detection/disposal teams have been asked to be on their toes and carry out security drills in the premises of the stations. Instructions have been issued to security staff to thoroughly search baggage and belonging passengers before allowing them in.
Apart from Metro stations and airport, security has also been intensified at shopping malls, cinema halls, markets, bus terminals, railway stations, and other crowded places across Delhi-NCR. Personnel drawn from a range of security agencies are standing guard at Delhi’s vital installations such as Parliament, Prime Minister’s house, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, and tourist spots.
The officers have been asked to take anti-terrorist measures and keep personnel on their toes. The SWAT commandos along with anti-terrorist officers have been deployed at important places, especially in Delhi’s Lutyens’ zone. A special attention is being given on checking of hotels, guest houses and tenants across the city.
Personnel deployed at border points have been directed to keep a close watch on suspicious vehicles and people entering the city. They have been asked to conduct a thorough searching and frisking of suspicious vehicles.