Hyderabad: Hundreds of highly trained personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) have started arriving in Srinagar and will gradually take over the security of the “hyper sensitive” Srinagar airport from February 15. The move will see the end of Jammu and Kashmir police from airport duties.
The urgency for the CISF take over arose after the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take over the security of the airport at the earliest. This was in the following of the arrest of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Davinder Singh who was posted in the anti-hijacking squad in Srinagar airport. He was caught while ferrying top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed Ahmed Shah alias Babu in Qazigund in the second week of January.
Sources in the J&K administration supervising the CISF takeover told Deccan Chronicle that the CISF personnel have started arriving in Srinagar and the remaining personnel will be reach there shortly. The formal takeover will commence on February 15 and will be completed within a week from then.
Presently, the internal security of the airports is jointly handled by the J&K police and the CRPF personnel. But once the CISF takes over, the CRPF will secure only the outer areas of the airport.
Sources said that the accommodation for the women personnel of the CISF, who will be posted at the Srinagar airport, is being finalised and should be done within a week, after which they will start arriving.
Over the last one month, the CISF headquarters in New Delhi has been struggling to gather 800-odd personnel to be posted at Srinagar airport, which is high on the radar of various terror outfits operating in the Kashmir valley.
Sources said that the personnel have been drawn from various places and it was only after obtaining their willingness to work in Srinagar that they were posted at the airport. In fact, after the abrogation of Article 370, there has been excessive deployment of CISF for law and order duties. “This deployment too has been downsized to enable personnel to be posted at the airport,” they said.
It is learnt that though the union home minister Amit Shah wanted the CISF to take over the security of both Jammu and Srinagar airports by February 1, which could not happen due to shortage of manpower.
The CISF deployment for Jammu airport is expected a little longer.
“With Srinagar airport high on the target of terrorists, the personnel have been trained in anti-hijacking and anti-sabotage operations. They are also getting trained in use of bomb disposal equipment and other special equipment, which Srinagar airport is already equipped with,” sources said.