DELHI: India has increased the number of sky marshals on commercial flights after the terrorist attack in Uri and in in view of intelligence reports indicating an imminent hijack reports the Hindustan Times. Earlier in 1999, an Indian Airlines flight (IC-814) was hijacked by members of Pakistan-based terror groups.
Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had recently warned state governments to monitor airport security closely. “Airports have become a valued target for the terror groups as it gathers attention all over and creates adverse psychological impact in the minds of our citizenry,” Raju said.
A sky marshal, also known as an air marshal or flight marshal, travels on the flight undercover to counter a hijacking attempt if they occur. They are deployed on random on domestic and international flights.
“The deployment of sky marshals has gone up substantially, especially on international flights, after the terrorist attack in Uri. Other security measures like increased passenger profiling are being done,” Hindustan Times report said quoting an anonymous aviation ministry official.
HT had earlier reported in January that the Government had decided to set up an anti-hijack control room at the cabinet secretariat office in Rashtrapati Bhawan. The control room will be connected with India’s 12 top airports.