The recent scuffle with Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees which left dead a head constable of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the Calicut airport may see the revival of civil aviation ministry’s plan to replace the CISF with Aviation Security Force (ASF). The proposal was discussed in the ministry post the incident.
The proposal, mooted by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and opposed by the home ministry, came up for discussion in the aftermath of the scuffle between Airport Authority of India (AAI) employees and CISF personnel last Wednesday which left a CISF constable dead.
A senior official in the ministry said, “We discussed a lot of things related to the incident and ASF was also discussed. The incident is being inquired into and a preliminary report will be submitted soon.”
The official added that the ministry was already discussing removal of CISF from about 12 airports to save on cost. “This plan is independent of the Calicut incident and is being done to save cost of providing security at airports,” he said. The ministry believes that the average cost of the new ASF will also be much less than the cost of deploying CISF personnel at airports across the country. CISF was chosen for managing airport security after Indian Airlines flight, IC-814, was hijacked by terrorists in 1999. It manages security at 59 airports across the country.
On Wednesday last week, scuffle broke out between the Airport Authority of India (AAI) employees and CISF personnel that left dead a head constable SS Yadav and injured various AAI officials.
The local police has, in the meantime, arrested four CISF men on Sunday on charges of vandalising property and rioting at Kozhikode International Airport following the death of CISF head constable Yadav in an accidental firing.
The arrests were made after AAI filed a complaint against 100 CISF personnel for causing extensive damage to the airport property. The arrested CISF men are Vinaya Kumar Gupta, R D Yashwant, Lokendra Singh and Rakesh Kumar Meena.
The police are reviewing the CCTV footage to ascertain how many CISF personnel were involved in vandalising the airport. The police have also registered a case against CISF sub inspector Sitaram Chaudhari for attacking AAI staff working with the fire and rescue wing. The police are also looking into the possibility of him being charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder as the fatal fire shot came from his pistol.
Nine members of the fire and rescue staff at the airport have also been arrested in connection with the death of the head constable during the scuffle that culminated in the accidental firing.
Two senior staff members, Aji Kumar and Sunny Thomas, who are undergoing treatment, have also been arraigned as accused in the case. Aji Kumar, who is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode, has been taken into custody on Monday. Thomas too is likely to be arrested.
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