Hyderabad: The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here, as also Mumbai and Chennai airports, remained on full alert on Sunday after a “tip-off” was received by Mumbai airport security agencies about a gang planning to hijack planes from three airports including from Hyderabad.
The hint came via an email to the police purportedly from a “Hyderabadi” woman, who said she had overheard six men discussing a plan to simultaneously carry out hijacks from the three airports, officials sources said.
Mumbai cops, who first received the email from the as-yet-unidentified woman, are not sure how genuine the claim was.
However, senior officials alerted the three airports. The woman claimed in the email that she overheard six men chatting and one of them saying, “All 23 people have to split from here and board flights in three cities and hijack planes.”
“Today we have stepped up the security on specific alerts. Extra care has been given to passenger checks, baggage scanning, pre-embarkation checks, secondary-ladder point checking and we have started special patrols to thwart any bid to storm the airport,” said an official.
Airports nationwide ‘sanitised’
CISF director general O.P. Singh said the security apparatus at three airports including RGI has been put on an enhanced alert and protocols have been fully in place.
“The e-mail could eventually turn out be a hoax but till investigations conclude, all security drills to thwart a hijack-like scenario are being carried out at the three airports,” O.P. Singh said.
“The as-yet-unidentified woman wrote in the e-mail that what she heard could be ‘true or not’ but she chose to inform the authorities as she felt it was her duty to do so as a citizen,” a senior officer said.
The CISF has also pressed into service its sniffer dog squads and quick reaction commando teams for undertaking sanitisation drills at the airports even as the airlines have been asked to remain extra vigilant.
“However, there is no reason to panic and all the operations at these airports will be conducted as normally as possible so that passengers don’t face any problem,” a senior officer said.
Other airports in the country have also been sanitised and officials asked to remain vigilant, the CISF director general O.P. Singh said.