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Security tightened at Mumbai airport, ADG level official to conduct checkings

Jan 22, 2015 05:27 PM IST India India

Mumbai: After a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) drill exposed security lapses at the Mumbai airport ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit, a senior ADG level official is now conducting checks at the Mumbai airport.

The development came after the serious security lapses were detected at Mumbai airport ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit. As part of a security drill, it was found that CISF personnel managed to enter inside the airport with fake e-tickets.

The second busiest airport in the country sees thousands of passengers pass through its gates every minute to enter the airport premises. A fortnight ago, four CISF personnel, in plain clothes and as part of a decoy team set to assess the security system in place, successfully entered through Mumbai airport gates using fake e-tickets and proceeded towards the security checkpoint with fake boarding passes.

Ahead of Obama's visit, the drill is being replicated across 59 airports in the country. CISF officials said this drill is an international practice that was discontinued in India after few officers raised objection.

CISF Public Relation Officer Hemender Singh said, "CISF has been carrying out these exercises from time to time to ensure efficiency and efficacy of the force."

The team that entered the airport premises with fake e-tickets walked right up to the security check point. Since there is no baggage screening until this point, the team exposed the ease with which weapons could be carried in.
One decoy team also attempted to breach security by entering the premises with a fake temporary access pass like those issued for employees or officials whose job requires them to enter the airport area.

Another decoy team attempted to smuggle in live bullets in their bags. It is unclear if the teams managed to hoodwink the security. A full report on the drill will be sent to the ADG, Airport Security.

The drill comes at a time when Mumbai airport has received several threats, from terror messages scribbled on the airport walls to threat calls to airline offices.

Questions were also raised when two businessmen with lookout notices returned to India without the airport authorities raising the red flag. While these drills exposed the chinks in the security armour, it will be interesting to see what carious agencies involved in securing the airport do to correct them.