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Security beefed up at New Delhi airport after terror scare

December 05, 2008 02:34 IST
Last Updated: December 05, 2008 08:32 IST

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The security at the New Delhi [Images] Indira Gandhi [Images] International airport was thrown into a state of high alert in the early hours of Friday following the reported hearing of gunshots.

But none of the authorities confirmed the incident as yet. 

The scare followed a passenger claiming to have heard sound of two gunshots firing at around 1.15 am near gate no 4, but there was no eyewitness, Udayan Banerjee, Commissioner of Security for Airports (COSA) told PTI.

However, the airport was already on a high alert following intelligence warning that there could be a terror attack or a hijack ahead of the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary tomorrow.

The Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the CISF swung into action along with Delhi Police immediately after the reported incident.

"We received a call that some passengers heard a sound similar to two gunshots, but there were no eyewitnesses. No evidence has so far come up to suggest that it was a firing and we cannot confirm it as a gunshot," Banerjee said.

"After the sound, the CISF and the Delhi police swung into action and intensified the checking at the airport," he said.

The area outside departure terminal was completely cordoned off with AK 47 and INSAS rifle toting CISF and Delhi Police commandos taking control of the entire premises.

Banerjee said, while the checking was going on, a white colour Qualis car jumped the queue and sped away adding to the confusion.

Police gypsy chased the car, but lost it after some time, he added.

When asked whether the number plate was noticed, Banerjee said, "We are not really sure about the number plate but I was told it was an HR (Haryana) registration vehicle."                

While the car sped away, the Delhi Police and the Haryana Police have been alerted for a lookout of the white vehicle.

According to the police, no bullet shells were recovered during the combing operation and neither any bullet mark found in the airport area.

Meanwhile, movement at the airport, including the flight operations were put on hold for nearly 45 minutes, he said adding it was resumed there after.

The normal rush at the airport continued with the passengers movement on the airport going smooth, an airport official said.

Some other reports say the entire incident could have been a part of the mock drill to check the security preparedness at the airport.

However, the security has been beefed up at the airport with the deployment of additional security personnel.

Senior CISF officials have also arrived at the scene to take stock of the situation.



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