Airport security gears up with additional troops, mock drills

Jan 10, 2015, 07:38 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

As police continues to investigate the terror threat scribbled on the wall of T2’s washroom, security agencies are covering all bases to make sure they are prepared for any untoward incident today

After the message scribbled in the Arrival lounge’s washroom of Terminal 2 (T2), threatening an attack at the airport on January 10 (today), security agencies at both domestic and international terminals have stepped up vigilance measures.

Also read: Terror threat on men's toilet wall rattles Mumbai airport's T2

Around 150 security personnel, including CISF, NSG, local police, Force One and MIAL’s fire and medical team, participated in the mock drill on Thursday

Aside from deploying additional personnel in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and National Security Guards (NSG), security agencies are also conducting mock drills to ensure that they remain prepared for any scenario.

An additional 200 security personnel, both in uniform and plainclothes, have been armed with sophisticated weapons such as AK 47s, light machine guns and Gallup pistols.

A senior security official at the airport told mid-day, “We have increased random checks from 10 per cent to 70 per cent. Number of turns by the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) and Quick Reaction Teams has been increased.” He added that security has primarily been strengthened at the city side and check-in areas of the terminals.

Mock drills
Taking serious note of the threat calls received at the national carrier’s call centre, security agencies at the airport are also conducting three mock anti-terror drills, the first of which was conducted on Thursday. Not just the CISF, which is the first responder in such situations, but also local police, Force One and NSG participated in the drill.

“The main objective of these drills is to not only rehearse for emergency situations, but to also identify loopholes in our system, if any. We also want to check the preparedness of the Counter Terrorism Contingency Plan (CTCP) of the airport.

We wanted to conduct a drill before January 10 (the date mentioned in the message that ISIS would attack the airport),” said a security officer leading the drill. The half-hour drill, which started at 5.15 pm, also had the Fire and Medical team of Mumbai International Airport Pvt Limited (MIAL) participating.

During the drill, in which around 150 personnel were present, a situation of terrorists attacking the airport from the city side was created, in which they entered from gate number 1, which has direct access to the operation of the airport.

mid-day report
mid-day had reported about the terror threat written in a men’s washroom at level 2, which was observed by a housekeeping staff of T2. Cops are currently checking the handwriting of the message against that of airport employees to ensure the message was not a prank. The washroom, where the message was written, is presently non-operational as the police are investigating the case.

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