Centre against pulling out CISF from airport security

The Union Home Ministry is unlikely to heed the demand of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to pull out the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) from the security apparatus of airports in the State.

Several Central agencies under the Union Ministries of Home, External Affairs, and Finance have expressed their disapproval over such a demand in the wake of the violence at the Karipur airport on June 10.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB), Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence are against the move which gained momentum after an altercation between the CISF personnel and the AAI’s fire service officials at the airport. Citing multiple factors, a Ministry official said that the CISF was the best force to handle security at airports.

“They have the latest arms and ammunition. Besides, they get their weapons upgraded on time to tackle emergencies,” he says. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, entrusted with airport security, believes that the CISF personnel are adequately trained in handling passengers too and that the paramilitary force has better infrastructure than the State police.

“Security at the airport is a continuous and innovative process. Demanding a new force is short-sightedness. The aggressive behaviour of CISF personnel at the airport was unprecedented. Such an aberration cannot be used as an excuse to compromise the security at sensitive airports,” the official says. A major contention of the Central agencies is that stricter controls in airport by the Home Ministry have helped rein in rackets involved in smuggling contraband, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and hawala transactions.

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