Security at Mumbai airport was tightened on Thursday following reports of a possible hijacking attempt by terror groups for the release of convicted 26/11 attacker Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab.
Kasab is lodged in a high-security cell at Arthur Road jail.
“The state has received an alert that a plane may be hijacked to free Kasab,” State Home Minister R.R. Patil confirmed.
Sources said the threat came from an Islamic fundamentalist group that has warned of a repeat of the 1999 Kandahar incident, when an Indian Airlines aircraft IC-814 was hijacked to release Maulana Azhar Masud, chief of Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that guards Mumbai airport has been put on high alert. “The Mumbai police informed us about a possible hijack at Mumbai,” said a senior CISF official, requesting anonymity.
Mumbai police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal told HT that while the CISF and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security were handling security operations inside the airport, the Mumbai police was also doing its bit. “Our security outside the airport and the approach roads are well in place,” Dayal said.