The staff of domestic carriers operating out of Mumbai airport began randomly frisking passengers on the tarmac before allowing them to boarding flights on Thursday as part of the airport’s security beef-up plan following the serial blasts on Wednesday.
The blasts that took place at Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Kabutar Khana, killed 17 people and injured 131.
Multiple security checks resulted in marginal delays of some flights but did not have any major impact on operations. “According to the standard operating procedure we have asked airlines to frisk passengers and check baggage at the aircraft ladder,” said a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media. Soon after the incident, paramilitary forces augmented deployment at CISF watch booths located around 100 metres from the domestic and international terminals.
While a dedicated team of CISF jawans monitored passenger movement via close circuit television cameras another team dressed in casuals frequently patrolled the terminal. “The idea is to track passengers moving suspiciously,” said another CISF official.
Airport officials said passengers should reach the airport early and preferably travel light for the next few days owing to the high alert.