The CISF has rejiged security of all airports across the country as it has replaced the ritual drill of frisking of passengers with "tactical checking" in order to reduce hassles and ensure a heightened level of protection to civil air operations.
The central paramilitary which secures 59 civil airport terminals and is in the process of taking over more in the future has issued directions to all its Airport Security Group (ASG) units and the personnel therein to increasingly start an intelligent profiling of air fliers rather than deploying the existing time-taking procedure of checking their ticket details.
A high-level decision in this regard was taken by the force in the aftermath of the Karachi airport attacks in Pakistan. "We have decided to substitute the ritual checking of passengers with a new protocol of tactical profiling.After months of training we have prepared our personnel who are adept in profiling of suspicious or fraudulent passengers thereby taking less time in screening of fliers," Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) chief Arvind Ranjan told PTI.
The Director General said the force personnel have now been trained in an enhanced skill of "unobtrusive" security mechanism grid in which the securitymen keep an eye on every movement at airport terminals and other area aided by snoop gadgets like CCTV cameras and sleuths cherry-dropped in civil dress and mingled in the airport crowd. "The new drills have been planned in such a manner that nothing goes unnoticed.However, in case of trouble the CISF personnel on ground will either make a silent intervention or if the situation demands a quick armed reflex reaction that too is available," the DG said.
Officials in the airport security grid said in order to implement these new measures at these sensitive locations, which see lakhs of footfalls everyday, the force has also increased the number of its officers in crucial ranks. "The top ten hypersensitive airports and the second rung of sensitive airports have recently inducted more officers in the cutting-edge ranks.Operations and intelligence departments are fully manned and have two to three officers each," they said.
The force has also recently concluded a master training of sophisticated gadget usage skills to all its airport security officers and similar workshops are on to impart these tricks of the trade to other personnel too. "We are shifting towards that regime where the security personnel on the airport gate is not much bothered about ticket details but the behaviour and overall body language of the traveller.This will bring down queues at the airports while the quality of security is bettered," Ranjan said.
The DG, who has earlier headed the elite counter-terror force NSG, has also struck a memorandum of sorts for training of his personnel on the pattern of the 'black cats'. "The NSG commandos are the best in countering any terror or hijack like situation.But CISF is the first responder to such incidents at airports.Hence, our men are now honing their skills in tactical deployment and quick mobilisation of reaction teams in the event of an emergency whether it is by armed or un-armed attackers," an airport security official said.
DG Ranjan said CISF has also begun creation of "uniformity of services" at all the small and big airports in the country. "We got to know that passengers had complaints that he or she is not allowed to take a particular stuff in a said airport while at the other it was okay to be taken in the aircraft.To minimise such issues, there is a standard format of procedures now which will be followed across all airports," Ranjan said.
The force has also increased the number of its courses in courtesy and personal interaction skills of its personnel at their task involves talking to lakhs of people from different walks of life everyday. The CISF was tasked with the duty of securing Indian airports in the aftermath of the Kandhar hijack case in which an Indian Airlines plane was forcibly taken from Nepal to Afghanistan in 1999.