BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Security agencies have beefed up security at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai following a warning from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of the possibility of a terror strike on the airport using a small plane or helicopter.
A media report has quoted a senior official of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) as saying: “IB inputs indicate that terrorists may use a small aircraft or chopper to strike at the busy Mumbai airport. Though the threat is specific to the Mumbai airport, the centre has also alerted neighbouring Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa as terror elements may take off in small planes from unmanned airstrips or less-used helipads in these states to access the Mumbai airport.”
The alert does not identify the source of the threat. It is also not time-specific. However, security agencies are taking no chances, given the recent bomb blasts in Mumbai and Delhi, and have heightened the security arrangements at the Mumbai airport as well as at airstrips and helipads across Maharashtra and its neighbouring states.
“In general, security has been beefed up at the airport, with the Central Industrial Security Force, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Mumbai Police in charge of security. Flight operations are normal,” an airport spokesperson told news agencies in Mumbai.
The Intelligence Bureau alert, sent to the five states on September 9, asked state police and agencies to keep an eye on those hiring small private aircraft or choppers as well as agencies leasing them.
Vigilance has been advised at unmanned airstrips and less-used commercial helipads in the states concerned to prevent terrorists from using them to take off in small planes to hit the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport The Mumbai Police and CISF have been asked to step up surveillance at all access points to the Mumbai airport.
Police have sought vigil at the unmanned airstrips and sparingly used commercial helipads located in Maharashtra and neighbouring states. No takeoff or landings are to be allowed from these airstrips and helipads without proper verification of the hirer of the aircraft as well as leasing agency.