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Lok Sabha elections 2019: CISF screens bags to monitor illegal cash movement

Officers said all fliers arriving in chartered flights from non-commercial airports and air strips that do not have adequate security cover will undergo a thorough screening, excluding exempted dignitaries.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 17, 2019 08:18 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
New Delhi
CISF,bags,illegal cash
To check the movement of illegal cash to Delhi during the Lok Sabha polls, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has set up a baggage screening point at Indira Gandhi International airport’s domestic arrival terminal.(HT File)

To check the movement of illegal cash to Delhi during the Lok Sabha polls, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has set up a baggage screening point at Indira Gandhi International airport’s domestic arrival terminal.

Officers said all fliers arriving in chartered flights from non-commercial airports and air strips that do not have adequate security cover will undergo a thorough screening, excluding exempted dignitaries.

There are more than 300 such air strips and 39 non-commercial or partially operational airports in India.

Many of them are in cities such as Hisar in Haryana, Ambedkar Nagar, Moradabad, Etawah, Meerut, Aligarh, Akbarpur and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, Amravati in Maharashtra, Patiala in Punjab, Banasthali in Rajasthan, Rourkela in Orissa and Munger and Kishanganj in Bihar, an official said.

In the wake of the elections, CISF has prepared a set of standard operating procedures (SOP). “The day elections were announced, the measures were put in place. We have set up an X-ray screener at the domestic arrival terminal and all passengers arriving via chartered flights are being checked. Extra staff has been deployed. Dog squads are available to sniff out any suspicious items,” said a senior officer who did not wish to be identified.

The officer said the listed dignitaries would be exempted from the check. “But their staff members are being frisked thoroughly,” the officer said.

The officer said the measures will help track the illegitimate movement of cash. “We have strict instructions to track any suspicious transportation of cash. It is expected the movement of chartered airplanes will increase significantly in Delhi as campaigning begins in full swing. The set-up will remain active till the elections are over,” he said.

The officer said fliers arriving Delhi by any passenger flight from a non-commercial airport will undergo similar check.

The CISF is in charge of security at 61 airports in the country. “There are at least 300 air strips and 39 airports that are not CISF-protected,” the officer added. CISF is expected to initiate similar checks at other airports.

First Published: Mar 17, 2019 05:23 IST