The Indira Gandhi International Airport has been converted into a fortress following intelligence inputs that terrorists may strike it ahead of the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition on December 6.
Intelligence agencies had received e-mail on Wednesday from the Deccan Mujahideen, the terrorist outfit that claimed responsibility for the Mumbai terror attacks. The mail that was intercepted by the Intelligence Bureau warned of attacks on December 3,4 and 5.
“The existing security arrangements at the airports have been beefed up. Passengers are advised to come in early,” Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar said in a press briefing on Thursday. He also advised passengers to carry identification papers.
Security beefed up
“Airports like Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport have been on high alert for more than two years,” a senior CISF official said. However, there is more stringent checking now. “All passengers are being manually frisked,” he said.
CISF sources said all hand baggage was being thoroughly checked even after X-ray screening.
All vehicles entering airports are being checked. Vehicles are not being allowed to stop in front of terminals for more than a couple of minutes.
As the layers of security have increased at the airport, passengers are now being also checked at the ‘ladder point’, where they board the aircraft.
Sources said the number of CISF personnel deployed at IGIA has been increased by at least 20 per cent. “There is full deployment at the airport and all leave applications have been cancelled,” he said.
The perimeter area of the airport has been secured by security personnel. There are 28 watchtowers along the airport’s perimeter where commandos have been deployed. A quick reaction team of the National Security Guards is also there.
“The airport authorities are putting up 35 new cameras but many of the existing ones don’t work,” a source said.
The total number of CCTV cameras at IGIA is expected to reach 205 by this week.