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Mock drill at Odisha airport takes passengers by surprise

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 28:

Air passengers were taken completely by surprise as security personnel conducted an hour long mock drill at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in the Odisha capital on Republic Day to check security preparedness.

Biju Patnaik airport in Bhubaneswar
Biju Patnaik airport in Bhubaneswar

Both the ‘infiltrators’ were identified and taken down in the mock drill whereas five of the security staff of the airport got ‘injured’ in the process.

Central Industrial Security Staff (CISF) commandoes, Quick Action team (QAT) commandoes, Airport Authorities Staff, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, senior official of Odisha Government, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Odisha Police and Fire Department of Airport were part of the drill.

Two CISF personnel, posing as terrorists, entered the airport at 8:30 AM on January 26 and displayed their fake identity cards to gain entry to Terminal-1. They succeeded in getting their boarding passes and checked in as well.

However, their moves aroused suspicion and the security staff issued signs to their commandoes to keep a close vigil on them. The commandoes surrounded the infiltrators the moment weapons were detected from their baggage by the airport scanner.

The terrorists started attacking and firing on the commandoes using pistols hidden in their socks in retaliation and attempted taking 4-5 passengers hostage. However the airport security staff managed to ‘eliminate’ them.

“The passengers initially were confused and scared. However, they cooperated with us after we announced it to be a mock drill. Bhubaneswar International airport is completely secure as we found out from the drill. We will foil any attempts by terrorists like this,” said a CISF official, who is responsible for the security of the airport.

It may be noted that security at the airport had been tightened and red alert had been issued following the terror threats to Odisha. Standard operating procedure (SOP) is in place and will remain in force till January 31 at the airport. Vehicles are not being allowed to lane -1 of Terminal 1.