Airports Across India Alerted After Hijack Call
Monday, 5th January 2015 at 02:53am
The threat of a hijacking on one of Air India's flights rattled airport officials across India, that they immediately imposed stringent screening procedures on all passengers.
They were immediately instructed to intensify their security and boost their alert level at the airport and deploy K-9 dogs to check every corner of the airport including its terminals, and even structures outside the airport premises.
Warning of a possible hijack by the country's intelligence agency came after an anonymous caller who made a threatening call to hijack a flight to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Although the caller didn't specify if it would be an Air India flight, but the fact that he made the call through the airline's booking office in Kolkata, it was readily assumed that it would be its flight.
Although Delhi is the only Indian city that currently has flight operations to and from Kabul, major airports across the country, nonetheless, beefed up their security as well.
In Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, for instance, additional security measures were imposed particularly in screening of passengers' baggage.
Authorities were closely monitoring any flights to Afghanistan departing from the country.
According to sources, Islamic State militants and Taliban are two possible groups that could carry out such action based on records of their past atrocities against the civilians.
To recall, an Air India flight, IC814, bound for Kabul was hijacked in 1999 when a group of men declared a hijack and took control of the aircraft and headed to Kandahar instead.
The security official didn't downplay the threat and even consider it as a serious threat to the whole country. The official went on to disclose that the threat could be possible as Air India is a government-owned airline and senior officials will also be flying to Afghanistan.
The security threat came ahead of the planned visit by US President Barrack Obama to the country later this month. He will be the principal guest during India's Republic Day parade happening in the capital on January 26.
Currently, India is training the Afghan National Army as part of its assistance to the country's reconstruction program.
Indians have always been prime targets by Afghan militants. The Indian Consulate office in Herat, for instance, was attacked by armed men in May 2014. Fortunately, no one was injured.
By: Pete Lee.