Mumbai: Frequent intrusions worry airport security officials
Five cases of security breaches have been reported at city airport in past 6 months, where people have been able to sneak into premises either by submitting forged ticket or by scaling outer perimeter walls
Authorities at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) are worried over the increasing number of people who have been able to get into the airport premises in the recent past without any valid documents. Such trespassers have managed entry either by scaling the outer perimeter wall or by submitting a forged ticket.
In the most recent case that took place last Friday (June 5), a 40-year-old Jalgaon resident, Raju Rathod, tried to get into the airport after scaling the perimeter wall. He was caught before he could pass the security system, the Perimeter Intrusion Detection System.
The real concern for airport security officials is that Rathod’s attempted entry coincided with the arrival of the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte. An official from the airport police said, “The VVIP movement was around 11.05 pm and Rathod was noticed to be hiding at 11.55 pm by the patrolling team.”
The intruder’s son later informed the police that Rathod had run away from home after a fight with his wife. “In his statement, Rathod said that he was trying to get into the airport premises since he thought it was a railway station after seeing the lights on the runaway,” said an officer from the airport police.
Senior Police Inspector, Airport Police Station, Rajendra Nagthire said, “We immediately registered a case against him under Section 447 of the IPC (punishment for criminal trespass) and he was produced in court on Saturday. He is now under judicial custody at Arthur Road Jail.”
Similarly, on May 13, mid-day had reported on how a 13-year-old kept security forces at the domestic airport on their toes for more than eight hours (‘13-year-old runaway boy manages to sneak into Mumbai airport’).
On March 15, Varsha Chaure from Madhya Pradesh got into the check-in area of Terminal 1B, and was caught near the VIP lounge. “She said that she was searching for her sister and was to fly with her.
However, investigations revealed that Chaure had sneaked into the terminal with a group of women,” said an airport official. There have been five such instances of intrusions in the past six months.
“Forging an e-ticket by editing the details is an easy job and an easy way to get an entry into the terminal. There is no system that can detect if a ticket is original or forged. We have been raising concerns to introduce a bar code system for such detection, but nothing of that sort has taken place.
However, in case of intrusions, the intruder is immediately handed over to the local police. Those who enter cannot leave the airport premises. The maximum number of such cases takes place with mentally unsound people or the ones who run away from their homes due to various personal reasons.
None of these breaches were found to be suspicious,” said Hemendra Singh, CISF spokesperson. “Such cases have been happening before, but the frequency has increased since the start of the year. The authorities CISF, MIAL and local police have been successfully able to catch hold of the intruders,” said a senior airport official.