New Delhi: The hijack threat is ominous since the last hijack of an Indian plane that of the erstwhile Indian Airlines flight IC-814 took place in 1999 to Afghanistan. That flight had been hijacked from Nepalese capital Kathmandu to the Afghan city of Kandahar at a time when the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan.
According to some reports, the alert may have indicated possible threats from Pakistan-based groups like the Lashkar, and other groups like the Taliban as well as the new terror group IS that has wreaked much havoc in the past one year in both Iraq and Syria.
Deployment of more skymarshals on these flights is reportedly being strongly considered. Security agencies are also reportedly carrying out ladder-point checks which are conducted just before the passengers embark onto the aircraft apart from the earlier rigorous security checks of both passengers and their baggage at airport terminals.
Security has also been beefed up at airport perimeters and car-parking enclosures within the airport complex. The hijack alert comes soon after a suspicious fishing boat from Pakistan with four suspected terrorists on board was chased and intercepted by the Coastguard on the high seas 365 km from the coastal Gujarat town of Porbandar on the night of December 31, following which the occupants of the boat had set it on fire, triggering an explosion in which they are believed to have perished.
The alert also comes in the wake of escalation tension between India and Pakistan on account of unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops on the border....