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Intel Agencies Warn of Hijack Attempt, Airports Put on High Alert

The warning of a hijack attempt on an Air India flight to Kabul, by intelligence agencies to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), paved the way for high alert on all airports across the country on Monday.

A person was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police for allegedly making a threat call to the city office of Air India on Monday. According to reports, officials said, “Security around all the airports has been strengthened and we have taken all the measures that are required in the wake of the alert from intelligence agencies.”

Meanwhile, at some of the major airports, additional checking of baggage and passengers is being done. While the attack is warned on a flight to Kabul in Afghanistan, all flights to Afghanistan are being keenly monitored by the officials.

As per a channel report, “The threat perception is based on messages that surfaced earlier, indicating that both Islamic State militants and the Taliban may choose to target India.”

Meanwhile, India is currently training the Afghan National Army and is participating in the reconstruction efforts in the country. However, as per reports, the officials said, “More security personnel have been deployed in and around the airport. There will be tighter screening of people and anyone who appears suspicious will be detained and questioned. In addition, there are quick reaction teams on standby.”

While, dog squad has been pressed into service in and around the terminal buildings, the airport’s taxi stand and nearby areas are under close observation of policemen.

The 35-year-old Prasanta Biswas, who is arrested by police, is a resident of Bongaon. As per a senior police official, a special team set up which comprises officers of the STF and the detective department was tracking the number from which the call was made to the national carrier’s city office. His threat call, which said, “Air India aircraft will be hijacked,” was received in Air India’s city office at the state-carrier’s city booking office at around 5.40 pm on Saturday.

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