Sahar police officials booked Ravindra B Desai, Superintendent of Customs (Surat), for carrying a pistol into the check-in area of level 4 (departures) at Terminal 2 (T2) of the international airport.

Ravindra B Desai
Ravindra B Desai

Desai was initially apprehended by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials, and was later handed over to the police. The incident occurred around 1.15 pm after an on-duty CISF officer spotted him concealing something suspicious outside the washroom on the west side of the check-in area.

The officer immediately intercepted Desai and asked for identification. It turned out that he was Superintendent of Customs (Surat), and had a pistol on him. The officials discovered that Desai had entered the terminal using a valid Airport Entry Pass (AEP) issued by the Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL).

“He explained that his purpose of visit was to see off his friends, who were leaving for Dubai by a Jet Airways flight (9W538),” said a CISF official. “The officer who intercepted Desai informed his seniors, and the firearm was taken into custody. Though he claimed to have visited Terminal 2 to see off his friends, he was walking alone around the check-in area,” the official added.

Further investigation revealed that the pistol Desai had on him was his official weapon. But its licence had expired in November 2014. “As per the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) guidelines, no person, except an authorised agency, is allowed to carry weapons inside the terminal.

Even the Personal Security Officers (PSOs) of cabinet ministers aren’t allowed to do so,” said a senior airport official. He alleged that the Sahar cops exhibited apathy in initiating taking action against Desai. Refuting the allegation, ACP Madhukhar Sankhe from the Airport Division said an FIR had been filed against Desai, and he was booked under Sections 3, 25, 30 of the Arms Act, 1959.