Excessive frisking by CISF led to airport clash: Official

Airport resumes operations after brief shut down following shooting.

By T.k. Devasia

Published: Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:56 PM

Trivandrum: The Karipur international airport at Calicut, which was shut down following a clash between Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and Airport Authority of India (AAI) employees on Wednesday resumed operations on Thursday.

CISF head constable S S Jadav was killed after an argument with an official of the fire force department of Airport Authority of India (AAI) over frisking. A verbal duel erupted after Jadav asked AAI official Sunny Thomas to undergo security clearance. This led to a clash and in the ensuing melee Jadav received gunshot injuries and was killed.

The situation further worsened when AAI officials arrived at the site. Following the firing, the CISF personnel attacked the fire force department at the airport causing damage to the force’s property. Kerala police have taken 15 persons into custody in connection with the incident.

The shooting took place at a high security zone where containers are being dealt with. Sunny Thomas, Senior Superintendent of Fire and Rescue department, who was in uniform, was trying to enter the airport terminal when the CISF jawan insisted that he undergo a security check.

Thomas said he was attacked when he came to the airport to take an injured colleague to hospital. He said he was kicked and beaten up. Thomas, who suffered injury in the attack, was later removed to a hospital. Two injured CISF jawans Sitaram Chaudhary and Narayanan have also been hospitalized.

Following the clash, at least three flights had been diverted to Nedumbassery airport at Cochin. Operations resumed at 7am on Thursday after the Kerala police led by northern range Inspector General of Police Shankar Reddy assumed the security charge at the airport.

The Airport Authority Employees’ Union (AAEU) claimed that excessive frisking by CISF staff led to clash.

“Though frisking is a routine, the CISF men even asked to open their lunch boxes when AAI personnel entered the airport on Wednesday. This led to some argument and then heated exchange of words,” AAEU General Secretary B S Ahlawat said.

The runway was blocked by the airport staff following the clashes which led to disruption in flights. All flights to Calicut were diverted to Cochin, causing much hardship to passengers belonging to the northern districts. Two Air India Express flights landed at Cochin.

Angry passengers of the Dammam-Calicut flight said at Cochin they were made to wait inside the aircraft from 3.30am to 5.30am without being served food or water.

They were also made to wait in the aircraft for two hours.

Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said that the situation at the airport was under control now. Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at Delhi that he had sought a report from the CISF Director General, who has arrived at the airport for an on the spot investigation.


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