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CISF takes over Srinagar airport security

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Srinagar, Feb 26: The security of the Srinagar international airport in Kashmir was on Wednesday taken over by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), six weeks after a Deputy Superintendent of Police posted there was caught ferrying militants out of the Valley.

According to officials, the process of the CISF taking over the airport security was expedited after DySP Davinder Singh was arrested on January 11 ferrying three Hizbul Mujahideen militants to Chandigarh.

The CISF has deployed over 500 personnel to guard the premises, which includes frisking at the gate followed by comprehensive search ahead of boarding a flight.

The CISF, which has been tasked with security of all airports and government installations, will provide a "comprehensive anti-terror cover to the facility", a senior official said.

With this, Srinagar airport will be the 62nd civil aviation facility under the cover of the CISF and will be under a commandant-rank officer, they said.

Airport Director Santosh Dhoke handed over a ceremonial key of the facility to CISF Special Director General (Airports) M A Ganapathy to mark the induction of the force at the airport which till now was guarded by the CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Srinagar international airport, which is named after Kashmiri saint Sheikh-ul-Alam, handles around 28 to 30 flights every day.

The airport has seen two attempts of suicide attacks by militants during the 30-year-long militancy in Kashmir Valley. However, both the attempts failed because of alert security forces.

The CISF will be guarding the airport premises while the CRPF and the Jammu and Kashmir Police will secure the outer perimeter. As a precautionary measure, the luggage of passengers is checked thoroughly at the outer perimeter which is nearly 700 metres away from the main airport building.

The airport got clearance for operating international flights in 2009 and one Air India Express flight was scheduled to operate once weekly. However, due to lack of demand, the flight could operate only once and was subsequently taken off the schedule.

Last year, the airport was cleared for night landing facility as well but these operations are yet to commence.

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