Hyderabad: The Intelligence input on possible terror strikes on important installations in cities along the coast has also indicated potential attacks on major airports in India.
The inputs gathered after the Pulwana attack that killed 49 CRPF jawans in the Valley, have revealed that there ‘may be seven more suicide bombers who have been assigned the task of carrying out attacks. In the wake of this, all operational Indian airports have been put on ‘high red alert’.
It is independently learnt that the Delhi Metro Rail network is among the potential terror targets.
“The Metro Rail junctions have been put on high alert. A large number of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has been deployed at the Delhi Metro,” said a CISF official.
A source told Deccan Chronicle that the seven others assigned to carry out strikes in India have airports and tourist spots in their sights.
The input revealed that the aim is not to sabotage infrastructure or human targets as happened at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus in Mumbai, but a possible plane hijack. The moto was to begin negotiations with the government.
There are 100 operational airports in the country, of which 60 are under CISF security cover. Delhi airport witnessed the highest air traffic in 2018, ie, 67 million travellers, followed by Mumbai — 46 million, Chennai — 27 million, Bengaluru — 26 million, Kolkata — 24 million and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad — 20 million.
The CISF and 23 government stakeholders which include the Director of Revenue Intelligence, officials with the Airport Authority of India, Bureau of Civil Aviation, and Customs, have tightened manual frisking of air travellers. Private airline operators have been asked to carry out a separate round of checks.
Passengers may find increased local police and dog sniffing at airports. Travellers have been asked to cooperate with the staff if they are asked to remove their belts or garments embedded with metal. It is also advised to carry a hard copy of the ticket as it may come handy in case the CISF staff refuses to accept the soft copy, said a top CISF official. The alert is likely to continue until the Lok Sabha elections, said an official.
The possible attacks on airports was also indicted in the statement issued by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhali on February 26, after the strike on the JeM training camp at Balakot.
The statement said, “Credible intelligence was received that the JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose.”...