15 booked, ten in custody for clashes at Calicut Airport

Operations at the Calicut International Airport in Karipur resumed early on Thursday after an almost eight-hour shutdown in the wake of clashes between the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) personnel, in which a CISF head constable was killed.

S S Yadav (52) was killed in what has been reported as an accidental gunfire at the airport on Wednesday; subsequent vandalism by protesting CISF personnel led to a runway shutdown and redirecting of aircrafts to the Cochin International Airport.

The Kerala Police registered cases against 15 people and 10 personnel of the airport’s Fire and Safety Division were taken into preventive custody in connection with the incident

.A special team has been constituted to conduct the probe. The incident happened at about 9.45 pm on Wednesday when an AAI fire service staff, Ajikumar was intercepted by CISF personnel for frisking near the Air Traffic Control entrance.

The AAI official protested against the body check and soon, found support in a group of colleagues, triggering an argument and scuffle that led to accidental firing of a pistol carried by a CISF SI, Seetaram Chaudhary.

The bullet hit Chaudhary’s fingers first and later, Yadav on the head, killing him instantly.
According to preliminary reports, enraged CISF jawans assaulted Ajikumar, his colleague Sunny Thomas and other AAI officials and vandalised parts of the airport.

Protesting personnel from the two sparring groups also blocked the airport’s runway leading to re-routing of the arriving aircraft to the airport in Kochi. Aircraft started arriving at the airport only at about 5 am on Thursday. Thomas, Ajikumar and Chowdhury are undergoing treatment.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told reporters that operations at the airport have returned to normal. CISF Senior Commandant Anil Bali said the police will be extending complete cooperation in the ongoing probe. The post-mortem of the slain jawan was completed late in the evening; CISF is coordinating efforts to transport Yadav’s body to his native Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.

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