Bureau of Civil Aviation Security’s (BCAS) decision to halt the practice of security stamping of luggage at airports was overruled by Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday citing dangers involved as well as unpreparedness of the system. Ministry’s call to continue with the procedure came following the realisation that there was a lack of high end gadgets to replace the process. The decision was taken in a meeting jointly chaired by Minister of State (MoS) Home Kiren Rijiju and Minister of State (MoS) for civil aviation Jayant Sinha.
In a notice dated February 23, BCAS had declared that practice of putting security stamp on hand baggage should be done away with and that too with “immediate effect”. However, the decision was not backed by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which had raised security issues and had said that a “robust” security system to replace the baggage stamping process was lacking.
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According to an Indian Express report, the concerned officials had decided to deal with problems arising in this issue by forming a committee which would consist of of senior officials from BCAS, CISF and also the operators of 7 airports to effectively handle the loopholes. BCAS had planned to execute the decision in all 52 airports in India after ratification from the committee.
A senior official talking about the importance of installing the required smart gadgets before doing away with the current system had indicated that the current tag system helps authorities pinpoint the level at which a mistake has been made and then to identify the person/s concerned. It is cumbersome process and the official said, “The security agencies want this to be achieved by sophisticated gadgetry”.
MoS Home Rijiju tweeted that the decision taken in the meeting is not final and that the call would only be taken by the committee after visiting all 59 airports across the country and after a complete report is ready.