The Central Industrial Task Force has deployed quick reaction teams (QRTs) at airports, trained its personnel and strengthened its capability to counter terror strikes. “We are gearing up to counter any attack in the manner of Istanbul or Brussels (terror attacks). Our people are already trained.
We have deployed QRTs behind bullet-resistant (bullet-proof) ‘morchas’, so that if terror elements fire they will not be able to get us,” a senior CISF official said.
After the Istanbul and Brussels incidents, the CISF has formulated strategies to thwart such attacks at Indian airports guarded by it.
“With the recent attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, attacks from the city-side have become more prominent. So, we are devising ways and means to counter such attacks,” the official told PTI.
“We have started checking at the ‘nakas’ now. Any suspicious vehicle going to airport will be stopped and checked with the help of sniffer dogs and electronic explosive detectors,” he said. In addition, QRTs have been deployed at the arrival and departure side of airports.
“If they (QRTs) find any suspicious person coming out with weapon or attempting to fire, our teams have been instructed to fire back to counter the terrorist attack. We have the capability to fire back at them and neutralise them. We are going into that mode now,” he said.
“We are professionally trained to prevent any kind of hijack situation or terrorist attack,” he said.
As of now, CISF has taken over security responsibility at 59 major airports. “The plan to cover 39 more airports depending on their viability is under process.”
“It is a Cabinet decision to bring all civil airports in the country under the security cover of the CISF. Since manpower is not there…the government is increasing the strength of the CISF. After that we will be able to slowly take over,” the official said.
There are certain airports where there are only one or two flights in a week and those airports are still with the state police. “It is not viable (for CISF),” he said.
The nearly 1.45 lakh-strong CISF has a dedicated and trained unit called the Aviation Security Group and has more than 25,000 men and women commandos.
“Now our ceiling is going to be raised to 1.8 lakh when we will be recruiting fresh people,” he added.