Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad airports put on high alert following hijack threat call

Devyani Sultania
Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad airports put on high alert following hijack threat call

Airports in Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad were put on high alert on Sunday following an email warning of "simultaneous" hijack attempts. Security at the airports has been tightened and a police investigation is currently underway.

Airport security agencies received specific information about a plan to simultaneously hijack planes departing from the Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad airports on Sunday. Three hijacks will reportedly be carried out by a team of 23 people.

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Director General of the CISF OP Singh was quoted by CNN-News18 as saying: "A lady overheard six boys discussing a simultaneous hijack plan in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. The email could well be a hoax, but we didn't take any chances. Embarkation (boarding) security increased, anti-contingency plan put in place and meeting of all stake holders held." The CISF is in-charge of security at all airports in the country. Singh added that the DCP in Mumbai received the email following which security at all the three airports was beefed up.

"A number of security measures have been put in place. We have increased and strengthened the patrolling, access control. The number of security personnel deployed has been increased," Singh told the Times of India. Sniffer dog squads and quick reaction teams have been called in to carry out sanitisation drills at the airports while all airlines have been asked to remain alert.

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"However, there is no reason to panic and all the operations at these airports will be normal and without any hassle to passengers," a senior officer from the airports security team, told the Press Trust of India.

A meeting of the Airport Security Coordination Committee was held in response to the hijack threat. Security agencies at the airports have also coordinated with the city police and other security forces. A counter-terrorism contingency plan is already in place in Mumbai, while the same is being put in place in Chennai and Hyderabad.

Passengers planning to board flights from these three airports are required to check-in on time and avoid last-minute delays.

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