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Rediff.com  » News » Kozhikode airport resumes ops after CISF-AAI clash kills jawan

Kozhikode airport resumes ops after CISF-AAI clash kills jawan

Last updated on: June 11, 2015 09:40 IST

The Kozhikode international airport at nearby Karipur in Mallapuram district of Kerala, which had been temporarily shutdown after violence erupted on Wednesday night following the death of a Central Industrial Security Force jawan, began operations on Thursday morning with arrival of two flights.

"Operations have become normal", Airport Director Janardhanan, said.

Two Air India Express flights have landed and one flight diverted to Bengaluru will be landing shortly, he said.

After personnel of the CISF and Airports Authority of India clashed with Fire Force department at the airport on Wednesday night over frisking of an AAI official, a tense situation had prevailed.

Following this, at least three flights had been diverted to Kochi's Nedumbassery airport.

Meanwhile, angry passengers of the Dammam-Kozhikode flight, which was diverted to Kochi early Thursday, said they were made to wait inside the aircraft from 3.30 am to 5.30 am without being served food or water.

"We reached Kochi around 3.30 am this morning and were allowed to leave the aircraft only two hours later", a woman passenger with a young daughter said.

Another passenger said other than a piece of cake, few chips and a bottle of water served during the flight from Dammam, they had not had any food.

In an ugly turn of incidents, a CISF jawan was killed last night and at least three others were injured in a clash between the CISF personnel and airport authority employees at Karipur international airport.

A dispute over CISF personnel who insisted that an official of the Fire Force department of AAI undergo security clearance led to a verbal duel between the two and in the ensuing melee the jawan received gunshot injuries and had been killed.

There is a heavy posse of police personnel at the airport.

Sunny Thomas, the AAI fire officer, who was in uniform, was trying to enter the airport terminal when the CISF jawan insisted that he undergo a security check.

A verbal duel between the two led to situation worsening with the jawan receiving bullet wounds and succumbing to injuries.

Thomas was injured after he was reportedly beaten up by CISF personnel.

Thereafter, over 100 CISF personnel came upon the runway, police said.

Kozhikode MP, M K Raghavan then contacted Home Secretary L C Goyal and the civil aviation joint secretary, seeking urgent intervention of the Centre.

"It is a war-like situation prevailing at the airport," he said.

"There were no flight operations. Flights were unable to land," he said and described the situation as 'grave' and 'unprecedented'.

Meanwhile, Airport Authority Employees' Union claimed that excessive frisking by CISF staff led to clash.

"Though it (checking) is a routine, but today when AAI personnel were entering the airport, apart from normal frisking, they were even asked to open their lunch boxes, this led to some argument and then heated exchange of words," AAEU General Secretary B S Ahlawat said in Delhi.

Alleging that the firing was aimed at AAI personnel, he said AAI personnel had not shut the airport operations rather they were saving themselves from CISF personnel who had in a way occupied the airport.

Thomas said he had come to the airport to take an injured colleague to hospital when he was attacked by CISF personnel.

"I was kicked, beaten up... they threatened to shoot," he told television channels.

There used to be minor skirmishes at the airport, he said.

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