Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad airports put on high alert after hijack threat
Security at three major international airports in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai was tightened after a high alert was issued following hijack threats.
The alert was issued after agencies were informed about a possible hijack attempt of an aircraft from these facilities. Officials said a high alert has been issued to the three facilities after Mumbai Police received an e-mail last night from a woman living there.
The e-mail mentions that the woman overheard six boys talking about a possible aircraft hijack attempt at these facilities, they said.
The Mumbai Police shared the e-mail with all security and intelligence agencies.
A meeting of all stakeholders at these airports was subsequently convened and the input was declared specific and actionable, they said.
According to a report in Times of India, airport security agencies received a specific tip off about a plan to hijack aircraft departing from Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad airport simultaneously on Sunday, prompting them to up the security. According to the information received by the security agencies, the hijacks will be carried out by a team of 23 people, the daily reported.
In response to the threat, an Airport Security Coordination Committee meeting was held on Saturday.
"An email was sent by a woman who overheard 6 boys discussing a plan to simultaneously carry out hijacks from Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad airports," a source was quoted as saying by the newspapaper.
"A total of 23 people will be involved in the 3 hijacks which has been planned for Sunday," it said.
CISF Director General O P Singh confirmed to PTI that the security apparatus at these airports has been put on "an enhanced alert and protocols have been stepped up".
Special anti-sabotage sweeps are being undertaken at these airports since morning and security agencies, including the Central Industrial Security Force, have enhanced frisking of passengers, baggage scanning, pre-emabarkation checks and patrols in the vicinity of the airports, they said.
The CISF has called in its sniffer dog squads and quick reaction teams for undertaking sanitisation drills at the airports, they said, adding airlines have been asked to remain extra vigilant.
"However, there is no reason to panic and all the operations at these airports will be normal and without any hassle to passengers," a senior officer who is part of airports security team said.
The police are probing the contents of the e-mail and trying to get in touch with the sender.