NEW DELHI/KOCHI: Three airports - Kochi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad - have been put on high alert after an anonymous letter threatened fidayeen attacks targeting Air India flights on two sectors - Ahmedabad- Mumbai (Friday night) and Mumbai-Kochi (Saturday morning).
According to sources, the anonymous letter, was received by Airport Authority of India 10 days back. The AAI shared it with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and the CISF, responsible for security at the airports. Later, an alert was issued by BCAS to strengthen security apparatus at all airports.
“We received an alert from BCAS just before Deepavali to sensitise the security staff at all the airports. We also carried out a standard anti-hijacking drill on October 20, 21. The airline staff were also sensitised for stringent security screening of passengers,” a senior CISF official said.
However, BCAS officials who held a high level meeting on Friday denied specific inputs about flights, but confirmed that all the airports were put on the high alert.
According to Intelligence sources they have been receiving similar anonymous letters for the last couple of years and have been trying to trace the origin and suspects behind such threats.
CIAL Ramps up Security
The Cochin International Airport Limited in Aluva fortified security on Friday following terror threats to two Kochi-bound flights.
Airport director A C K Nair convened a meeting attended by experts such as DIG Anand Mohan from Chennai CISF who had arrived here to review the airport security. Bomb detection and disposal squads and quick response teams have been deployed.
“Security has been tightened in every sector of the airport,” A C K Nair told Express.
“Detailed identity verification will be held at every access control point. Every vehicle in the perimeter will be scanned with metal detectors as an additional precaution. Baggage points will be strictly monitored. Even hand baggage will be subject to intense scrutiny,” he said, adding that they were fully prepared in every regard.
Intelligence agencies, CISF, airport security and the police are all aiding the operation. Stringent security measures have been adopted at the other major airports also. Air India officials said all necessary steps would be taken to ensure passenger safety.