PROTECTED BY the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) since 1987, the Srinagar Airport will soon go into the hands of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The Home Ministry has ordered that security of the Srinagar Airport along with Jammu and Leh be given to the CISF.
The Jammu Airport too is currently secured by the CRPF while the Leh Airport has security of the Indo-Tobetan Border Police (ITBP).
A November 12 Office Memorandum of the Home Ministry says: “It has been decided to deploy CISF at Jammu, Srinagar and Leh airports on the same terms and conditions which are in force for deployment of CISF at other airports. …It is requested that pre-induction formalities, including survey may be got done on priority to enable CISF to take over the security at the above airports.”
The Office Memorandum has been marked to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Directors General of CISF, CRPF, ITBP, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), Joint Director Bureau of Immigration and Chief Secretary and DGP of Jammu and Kashmir.
The CISF has been seeking the job of providing security to airports in Jammu and Kashmir for a long time.
The force had argued that it has vast experience of securing airports and these were the only major airports that were out of its ambit. The Srinagar airport had remained in the hands of CRPF as the force was the largest paramilitary unit maintaining law and order in the state.
Last month, CISF DG Rajesh Ranjan had expressed his desire clearly and hinted that things were moving in this direction.
“There have been security audits of the Srinagar airport earlier and the ministry of civil aviation and CISF have agreed that it must come under CISF. But things have not moved on this front yet. We would like to have it under our control,” Ranjan had said.
Sources said it would still take some time for the force to take over the security of J&K airports as there are multiple formalities involved.