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CISF personnel at Delhi airport track Austrian with photo in smart watch to return gadget

The incident took place in the security hold area of the departure Terminal 1D of the IGI airport, which sees a daily footfall of more than 20,000

delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2018 08:47 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CISF,CISF personnel,Delhi airport
CISF security personnel during the security check at IGI Airport T3 in New Delhi. (HT File Photo)

When two officers from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) tapped on Austrian national Peter Resele’s shoulder at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in Delhi, he thought he was in trouble. To his surprise, they handed over to him his smart watch which he had forgotten to collect after security check.

What amazed Resele the most was how the security personnel tracked him down inside the terminal, which was through a family photo in the background display on the home screen of his watch.

Elated to get his watch back, Resele attempted to tip the two personnel but they refused to accept any money. Resele then gave a written appreciation to the CISF.

He said he left his watch at the security check and forgot to collect it. “Suddenly an officer tapped on my shoulder…I thought there was a problem but he just handed me the watch…He and his female colleague had been searching for me. It was only then that a flash of absence on my wrist went to my brain. I was so stunned that all I could mutter was a repeated “thank you, thank you” while my mind raced through the fact that I was at a very busy Indian airport. They disappeared before I could think of anything else,” Resele said.

He decided to go back and do more than just verbally thanking them. “As I expected, my attempt to tip the two was outrightly refused - I hadn’t been able to come up with a better idea. Then, the head officer invited me to write an appreciation note, which I was only too happy to give, in a thick, old, dog-eared book that showed I was by far not the only person who felt indebted to them. It felt good to write it and give my details, at least something I could do for them. I sincerely hope their deed is honoured by their superiors,” Resele said.

The incident took place in the security hold area of the departure Terminal 1D of the IGI airport, which sees a daily footfall of more than 20,000.

Kumari Prabha Rani, a constable in the CISF, one of the two personnel who had tracked down Resele and returned him the watch, said that when she spotted the watch, she asked at least half a dozen passengers if it belonged to them. “When all of them refused, I checked the watch and it turned on automatically. I saw a family picture on the home screen. There was a man, a woman and a child in that picture. We started searching for the man or the woman inside the terminal. It was just ten minutes later that we found him,” she said.

Resele was also pleasantly surprised to learn that no tiring legal formalities were involved in the process of returning the watch. “It would maybe have been put in a box, three forms filled out, maybe entered into an electronic database which would identify it. Then the passenger would make an inquiry and try to get it back, somehow... while already being on another continent,” he said.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 04:01 IST