Terror has come home like never before. On Saturday, cities across the country woke up to a weekend of endless security checks, long queues at airports and a general sense of dread.
Fear in the air
At the Mumbai airport, passengers chafed at the stringent security checks but there was a sobering acceptance of the changed situation. A senior CISF official at the airport said security measures at the international airport were more stringent than those at the domestic airport.
Over 1,000 CISF personnel and the city police scanned every taxi and auto entering the airport premises. Most airlines had asked passengers to come one-and-a-half hour before the departure time. Only one handbag was allowed. Some even put up notices requesting passengers to limit their luggage in view of the "enhanced security threat". At the Kolkata airport, an abandoned new motorcycle parked in the domestic terminal parking lot led to a bout of jitters. The bomb disposal squad was called in and the area cleared of people. It turned out to be a scare. The security checks were stringent A baul singer travelling to Italy from Kolkata had all his instruments, such as the ektara and the tablas thoroughly checked. Despite the delays, flights left and arrived on time.
Ahead of Independence Day, senior Home Ministry officials reviewed the current security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in a meeting with top functionaries of the state including Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The Government has devised three standard operating procedures to deal with terrorist attacks involving the use of radiological, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. They provide for identification of potential targets, formation and training of specialist response teams, Home Ministry source.