Hijack alert: States protest sharing of unsubstantiated intelligence input

Hijack alert: States protest sharing of unsubstantiated intelligence input

Hijack alert: States protest sharing of unsubstantiated intelligence input

Several states have raised objections to an uncorroborated intelligence input about hijacking of an aircraft ahead of the Independence Day, saying such exercise was needlessly increasing burden on security personnel besides causing harassment to the public.

At a recently held meeting in which representatives from states including Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Chandigarh participated, concern was raised over such unsubstantiated intelligence inputs, officials privy to the meeting said today.

The intelligence input passed on by police of a Northeastern state spoke about the hijacking of an Indian aircraft before August 15 by a Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group led by a Yemeni national along with 10 members from the Pakistan-based terror outfit.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security while leaving nothing to chance issued an alert to airports concerned in Jammu, Srinagar, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Authorities in the Union Home Ministry sought further confirmation from the police official who skipped the meeting saying that the input was still being verified.

An official at the meeting also made some critical remarks about passing on half-baked intelligence input which triggered panic among security agencies, the sources said.

The sources said that other participants echoed the official's sentiments and opined that unsubstantiated intelligence inputs were increasing the burden on security personnel, who are already under pressure ahead of such national days like Independence Day and Republic Day.

This also leads to unnecessary harassment of public who travel during Independence Day holiday besides putting additional burden on exchequer for deployment of more forces, the sources said.

Many states have been suggesting a mechanism to provide actionable intelligence but during the national days and important visits, these inputs are shared without corroboration.

The official in question had only informed that the input was based on a 'source' information without revealing the origin of the information, the sources said.

Post 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008, such inputs have been swarming the Intelligence Bureau, which passes on to states concerned, and later begin the process of verifying, the sources said.