Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, during a regular media briefing, assured that India is in ongoing communication with foreign governments to address the concerns related to extremist elements. Bagchi stated that the Indian government is determined to collaborate with international counterparts to prevent the use of airspace and territories by individuals or groups involved in promoting terrorism.
In response to queries regarding the specific threat to Air India, Bagchi highlighted that the government will take all essential security measures to ensure the safety of Air India flights and passengers. The MEA reiterated its commitment to working closely with foreign governments to deny space to extremist elements, emphasising the shared responsibility in combating global terrorism.
The engagement with foreign governments signifies India’s proactive approach in dealing with potential threats to civil aviation and reinforces the importance of international cooperation in maintaining aviation security. As the situation evolves, the Indian government will continue its efforts to address and neutralise any potential threats to Air India and uphold the safety and well-being of passengers and crew members.
“We strongly condemn such terrorist threats… We have been engaged with foreign governments on the activities of radical and terrorist elements that have been inciting violence and intimidation… We will continue to press these governments to deny spacer to such extremist elements. We will definitely take the necessary security measures against that,” he said.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has ordered extra security checks for Air India flights in Punjab and Delhi airports after a threat received from the outlawed separatist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). The BCAS has asked for additional security checks for all Air India flights at airports in Punjab and the national capital.
“A 100 per cent SLPC (Secondary Ladder Point Check) for all Air India flights at IGI Airport and airports in Punjab, issue of Temporary Airport Entry Pass (TAEP), entry of visitors to the terminal building of the IGI (Indira Gandhi International) airport (in Delhi) and sale of visitors’ entry tickets will be banned,” the circular read.
The order was issued earlier this week and it has been implemented immediately.
Recently, the designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the founder of the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), released a new video asking Sikhs not to fly in Air India aircraft after November 19, as their lives can be under threat.
He claimed that Air India would not be allowed to operate on November 19. The order said that in view of the continuous threat messages being shared by Central security agencies regarding threat to Civil Aviation installations all over India like airports, airstrips, airfields, air force stations, helipads, flying schools, aviation training institutes, it has been decided by the competent authority to extend the restrictions imposed.
A senior officer informed that a high-level of alert has been sounded in view of inputs received from intelligence agencies to step up security at airports.
Secondary Ladder Point Checking (SLPC) is a secondary-level security procedure mandated by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) under which the airline staff have to frisk passengers and their hand luggage after the security clearance from the CISF, just before boarding the aircraft.