60 suspicious objects sighted at Indira Gandhi airport in three months since October

New Delhi: Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport(IGIA) witnessed over 60 unidentified objects in its air space in three months from October last year.

CISF Director General Surender Singh, during an annual interaction with journalists here, said a total of 62 such incidents have been reported from October 27 last year till Tuesday.

Representative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

"These objects, however, like toy balloons, kites, Chinese balloons among others. It is very difficult to make out (about the kind of the flying objects with naked eyes)," Singh said.

Singh said the government will soon come out with "operational guidelines" to deal with such cases after a similar incident was reported late last year when a suspected
drone-like object was spotted near Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) runway.

"This is a general problem which is not only at the airport. There are other sensitive installations too (near the airport area). Soon guidelines will be out determining the
responsibility of each agency in such cases," the CISF boss said.

While the Central Industrial Security Force is the overall in-charge for airport security in the country, it is assisted by local police and the Indian Air Force, more pro-actively at sensitive facilities like IGIA.

Officials said new guidelines or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all airports are required while dealing with such potential threats as there are multiple stakeholders
in civil aviation security and hence, a clear chain of command and task is required to thwart a possible aerial attack by using these gadgets.

The CISF boss was also asked about the menace of hoax calls received at airports.
The DG said while 44 such calls were received last year at across various airports the force is deployed at, 16 such calls have been made till now this year.

"These instances are considerable...but we take them all very seriously. We assume them to be genuine and all the procedures are undertaken to check them," he said.

The DG said that the idea of a much-talked about proposal to deploy CISF men on-board Indian merchant vessels to protect them in pirate-infested waters has been "shelved".

"The Ministry of External Affairs has not been favourable to the idea..this (the proposal) is not under active consideration," he said, adding that deploying armed men on ships sailing in international waters has "legal ramifications."

The proposal was mooted in the aftermath of two Italian marines allegedly killing two Indian fishermen in February, 2012 off Kerala coast.

At present, vessels, sailing with Indian flags rely on security agencies employing foreign nationals in waters vulnerable to piracy.

Talking about VVIP security, the CISF DG said considering the increasing role of the central force in this domain, it has sought more manpower as the existing number of commandos are not "considerably sufficient."

He said the force, which is tasked with the security of 55 such people, has put more people for the VVIP security job from its own reserves but it is desirous of getting more
sanctioned posts in this regard.


Updated Date: Mar 08, 2016 20:09 PM

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