CISF security botch-up leads to delay of flights at Patna airport


The CISF went on a wild goose chase following a security scare after it failed to detain a suspicious passenger, believed to be carrying an objectionable item in his hand baggage.

The CISF, however, could neither recover any objectionable item nor identify the passenger, but ended up delaying three flights — one of GoAir (G8-150 to Delhi) and two of IndiGo (6E-2041 to Delhi; and 6E 7718 to Kolkata) — as it temporarily suspended boarding of passengers into aircraft.

The CISF also insisted on an intensive security re-check, which included re-frisking and re-scanning personal baggage of all 180 passengers, asking some on board the GoAir flight to deplane and reroute through security. The aircraft was subjected to anti-sabotage by airlines security staff before being allowed to take off at 9.30pm, 80 minutes behind schedule.

Having found nothing objectionable on GoAir, the CISF concluded that the “culprit” would have flown to the national capital by another aircraft of SpiceJet (SG-8481), which flew around 7.30pm. It then not only alerted its counterparts at Delhi airport, but also called for SpiceJet station manager Syed Hassan and its security incharge Amit Jha to impress upon them to ask their colleagues in Delhi to be alert and keep an eye on all deplaning passengers from the Patna flight.

As the whole drama unfolded at the Jai Prakash Narayan International airport here between 7.30 and 9.30pm, the GoAir and the IndiGo flights were delayed by up to 80 minutes.

Avinash Kumar, a Delhi-bound GoAir passenger, said: “We were harassed in the name of security as all passengers, including those on wheelchair, were made to disembark and go through the security drill all over again, with no tangible result whatsoever. This led to a delay, causing severe inconvenience to passengers.”

The CISF ended up with egg on its face, giving out conflicting statements, as it was hard put to defend its actions.

Vishal Dubey, commandant of the airport security unit, Patna airport, sent a text message on a WhatsApp group, terming the operation as “routine intensive search”. “Please don’t go by any version of any unusual detection, etc. All passengers boarded and flew (sic!). It was a precautionary measure in wake of alert (sic!),” read his text message.

Dubey’s subordinate, inspector Ajit Kumar, sent out a different message on another WhatsApp group that read: “A screener (baggage screener on X-ray machine) missed some suspicious item in hand baggage of a passenger during physical check. All the screened passengers were rechecked and allowed for boarding. In the whole process some delay has occurred.”

Airport director BCH Negi said, “Three flights were delayed last night due to some security issues. You can speak to the CISF commandant for details.”

Dubey, however, refused to talk to this reporter, saying he was not authorised to speak to the media.

CISF public relations officer, Hemendra, said: “I am not aware about the incident as I am on leave.”

Security at all Indian airports has been heightened following a high alert till August 31.

Security beefed-up in Bihar on Eid al-Adha, last Shravan


Security has been beefed-up across Bihar in the view of Eid-ul-Adha, also called Bakrid, coinciding with the last Monday of Shravan month, when devotees visit temples of Lord Shiva in large numbers, a senior police officer said.

He said the security forces have been deployed at sensitive areas in all the districts and central paramilitary forces have been kept on standby for any exigency.

“One company of Rapid Action Force and Sashastra Seema Bal have been stationed at Patna and Bhagalpur respectively to assist the local police in maintaining law and order in case any disturbance is reported,” Additional Director General of Police, Headquarters, Jeetendra Kumar told reporters.

The security beef-up comes after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, at a high-level meeting last week, asked officials to maintain law and order during the two festivals and lay emphasis on preventing rumour-mongering through social media.

DGP Gupteshwar Pandey, who was present at the meeting, has appealed the public through the social media to remain vigilant against attempts to disrupt peace during the festivals and warned of stern action against rumour mongers.

In his message on Eid-ul-Adha eve, the Chief Minister urged the people of the state to remember that “the festival symbolises sacrifice and its true joy can be found only in an atmosphere of peace, amity and brotherhood”.

Meanwhile, four teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been dispatched from here to neighbouring Jharkhand’s Baidyanath and Basukinath temples to prevent any untoward incident during the massive turnout of devotees there on the last Monday of Shravan.

NDRF’s Patna-headquartered ninth battalion commandant Vijay Sinha said,”Devotees visit the shrines after taking bath in the nearby ponds. Our personnel will be vigilant there with rescue boats to avert any untoward incident”.

Security beefed up at Patna’s Beur Jail after IB alert of possible jailbreak attempt by Maoists


Unprecedented security has been deployed at Patna’s famous Beur Jail since late Wednesday night after the Intelligence Bureau (IB) alerted the Bihar police about a possible jailbreak attempt by Maoists and terrorists, much like the 2005 Jehanabad jail break incident.

Police said at least 80 jawans of Bihar Military Police (BMP) and other personnel have additionally been deployed at the jail.

Senior police officers are camping in the jail and carrying out search operations. Director general of police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey and home secretary Amir Subhani also visited the jail and supervised the security arrangements.

In November 2005, hundreds of Maoists had stormed the Jehanabad jail and freed several of their top leaders. In all, 341 prisoners fled in that incident.

The Beur jail houses several Maoist leaders, hardened criminals and at least a dozen terrorists associated with banned outfits like Indian Mujahideen (IM), Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Officials said the search operations led to recovery of several cell phones and few other items not permitted inside the jail.

As per the IB alert, the accused in the Bodh Gaya and Gandhi Maidan terror blasts, along with other criminals lodged inside the jail, had planned to carry out a repeat of the Jehanabad incident or a major blast.

After inspecting the jail, the DGP instructed officials to intensify patrolling in the area. “We raided several wards and recovered some cell phones. We are alert and ready to tackle any eventuality,” he said.

DIG (central range, Patna), Rajesh Kumar, however, preferred to downplay the jailbreak threat. “We are carrying out routine raids and reviewing the security in the wake of attack on a constable at Danapur court by an undertrial prisoner recently. The objective to prevent repeat of such incidents,” he said.

Jail officials said that the accused in Bodh Gaya and Gandhi Maidan blasts lodged inside Beur jail had in October 2017 clashed with the jail security personnel and also raised anti-national slogans. Among other things, they had decried the quality of food served to them. Since then, they have been confined to their cells and not allowed to meet with others.