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Wadia case puts airports on alert

Security lapse at Mumbai Int'l Airport involving industrialist Nusli Wadia has shaken up the aviation authorities.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2007 13:36 IST

The security lapse at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport involving industrialist Nusli Wadia has shaken up the aviation authorities, who have already put all airports in the country on a state of high alert.

Additional security measures and heightened supervision by senior officers have been put in place at all major airports, particularly in view of the Republic Day celebrations, official sources said.

All airlines have also been asked to deploy responsible senior personnel, empowered to take decisions, to oversee security, they said.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has been periodically reviewing the threat perceptions and would continue to maintain the high security level till such perceptions die down, the sources said.

A junior officer of Air India at Mumbai, responsible for X-raying baggage for the flight to Dubai, which Wadia took on January 13 with a revolver and cartridges in his baggage, was suspended pending enquiry, they said, adding that the investigation was continuing.

Mumbai Police has to decide whether to question Wadia on the matter, the sources said.

Air India has been without a director (security) for over six months now. Chief Vigilance Officer Manjari Kakker, who has been holding additional charge of security, belongs to the Indian Revenue Service. The post of director (security) is to be filled by an IPS officer.

The airports have been on alert since the first week of this month following a threat report about a possible hijack by some Kashmiri militant outfits.

First Published: Jan 21, 2007 13:36 IST