Metro security in India’s capital city of New Delhi have doubled its staff after a Military Intelligence (MI) warning of a possible attack in the first 10 days of 2014, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sources have told the Hindustan Times.
The alert, which came on December 31 warned of a terror attack reminiscent of the 2008 Mumbai attack, also referred to as 26/11, a shooting and bombing attack that lasted four days, killing 166 people and wounding at least 308.
The Dec. 31 alert in Delhi warned of an attack in the next 10 days, forcing the CISF to conduct pat-down searches on suspicious-looking passengers over and above frisking and baggage scan.
A similar alert was received for the airport, where the MI had warned of a hijack attempt by the Indian Mujahideen to secure the release of its arrested lynchpin, Yasin Bhatkal. The CISF takes alerts from the military most seriously, and strong steps have been taken to prevent such an attack.
The CISF, which has over 5,000 personnel for the security of 140 metro stations across the NCR, has increased the shift duration of the staff.
“We have personnel working in three shifts. Their eight-hour shifts have been increased to 10 hours so that we have more hands at any given point,” said a senior CISF official, requesting anonymity.
Security has especially been increased at the interchange stations such as Ashok Park Main, Inderlok, Kirti Nagar, Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate and Central Secretariat, which are also more crowded.
Extra Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) have been put in place as well.
“The alert talks about the possibility of a Mumbai-type attack on a Delhi metro. We are concentrating mainly on the outside security because it is impossible for someone to carry a weapon beyond the check-point. We already have 100 per cent frisking and baggage screening in place. Now, the guards have been asked to pat down suspicious passengers,” the official added.
More than two million passengers use the Delhi metro daily and besides the CISF, the Delhi police too guard the outer periphery of these stations.
The dog squad and the bomb disposal squad are also doing extra shifts to prevent an attack. There are over 5,300 cameras at the various metro stations.
There are 34 members in the CISF’s dog squad and 67 QRTs with commandos.