MUMBAI: Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad international airports have been put on high alert following threats of a hijack attempt. A full anti-hijack drill has been started and the National Security Guards have been kept on stand-by.
Officials said the alert was issued after a woman sent an email to a senior police officer in Mumbai yesterday. The e-mail said she had overheard six men at a restaurant, discussing simultaneous hijack of flights from the three airports today.
The Mumbai Police alerted the Central Industrial Security Force or CISF, which is in charge of security at the country’s airports. Counter-terrorism teams have been put in place, which have increased vigilance at entry gates and parking lots.
The CISF has also called in its sniffer dog squads and quick reaction teams for sanitisation drills. Airlines have been asked to remain extra vigilant.
Airlines have advised passengers to avoid last-minute check-ins. Passengers have also been advised to cooperate with the security personnel at the airports.
After a similar hijack threat in January 2015, the CISF had reviewed its procedures. Anti-hijack drills were held at airports and communication lines with the police and security agencies were also checked.
That time, the intelligence agencies had spoken of a hijack attempt on an Air India flight to Afghanistan’s Kabul.