The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has banned non-uniformed entry and use of mobile phones and toilets by its personnel inside the core security area of airports in the backdrop of the alleged involvement of some of them in drugs and gold smuggling rackets.
The aviation security headquarters of the paramilitary force here has issued a set of guidelines for its on-duty jawans and officers who guard 59 civil airports in the country, many of which are categorised as ‘sensitive’ and ‘hyper-sensitive’ from the security point of view.
The CISF Chief OP Singh confirmed that the force has issued some special directives for its staff working at airports, keeping in mind the overall security concerns of these facilities thronged by lakhs of passengers to fly to their destinations within the country and abroad, every day.
“There has been a ban for the past several years that no CISF personnel on airport security duty shifts will carry his or her mobile phone. These measures will now be enforced very strictly,” the CISF director general told PTI. The DG said the new measures were taken keeping in mind few past incidents where CISF personnel were found involved in alleged illegal activities.
Recently, the force suspended two jawans deployed at Chennai and Bengaluru airports for their alleged connivance with gold and drugs couriers respectively.
As per the new directives, no force personnel will be allowed to enter the airport terminal, the security hold area where passengers are allowed after frisking and just before boarding and the Customs area of the arrival hall, “unless they are deployed there”.
The CISF personnel will also not be allowed to carry phones or any bag inside the airports and any exception to these rules will be made strictly after the airport security chief concerned issues a written permission.
Among the other donts include: No entry for that personnel who are not in uniform, prohibiting them from using toilets in the security hold area and mandatory frisking of troops who enter the ‘sterile’ or the high security zone of the terminal for duty. The ‘sterile’ zone indicates the terminal area that is next to the tarmac where aircraft are parked before flying out or after landing.
“Entry of CISF personnel into the operational area should be allowed only after proper frisking and checking,” the new directives said adding that a “compromised” personnel can be used by terrorists to smuggle explosives or weapons into the sensitive terminal area or even inside the aircraft.
The directives said a ‘special eye’ has to be kept on personnel involved in bomb detection and disposal duty and those handling sniffer dogs as they are “not tied” to specific duty points and could be vulnerable or lured into the conduct of illegal activities.
The force has also asked its 59 Chief Airport Security Officers (CASOs) or the contingent heads to immediately implement these measures at their respective airports and depute a special counter-intelligence team to keep a check on the activity of its own personnel.
The jawans and officers in airport security duty have also been asked to mandatorily deposit their ‘Aerodrome Entry Permit’ identity cards issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) after their duty hours. It is also planned to shift all the administrative offices of the force outside the airport terminal to “prevent unnecessary movement” of the force personnel.