The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for maintaining security at the airports across India, has come down heavily on the Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials at the Kozhikode airport for "irresponsibly" meddling in its duty.
A CISF spokesperson told IBTimes India on Thursday that the CISF guard, who had tried to frisk an AAI official, was just performing his duty. "Frisking is a mandatory security check that is undertaken at all the airports guarded by CISF. Our officer was just performing his duty. There was no need to meddle in the security affairs," said CISF PRO Hemendra Singh.
On Wednesday night, a scuffle between the CISF officers and the AAI staff had resulted in the death of a 52-year-old jawan deployed at Kozhikode's Karipur airport.
The Indian Express reported that the jawan, SS Yadav, died after the gun of one of the CISF guards went off accidentally during a scuffle between them and the AAI staff. On the fateful night, CISF inspector Seetharam Chaudhiri had tried to frisk AAI staffer Aji Kumar.
But Kumar declined to cooperate, triggering a heated argument. Around 25-30 AAI staff reportedly ganged up on the CISF officer at the Calicut International Airport. The argument turned into a scuffle after the AAI officer tried to snatch the gun from Chaudhiri, the CISF claimed.
At this point, Chaudhiri's gun went off and the bullet hit CISF guard Yadav in the head, killing him on the spot.
"The entire incident is unfortunate. It was irresponsible on the AAI's part to meddle in the affairs of security. There is a protocol and we are supposed to follow it by the letter," Singh added.
However, AAI has claimed that the situation escalated due to "excessive frisking" by the CISF. The local police have lodged a complaint against both the CISF and the AAI officials. Two AAI personnel, who were later beaten up by the angry CISF staff, had to be hospitalised.
After the incident, the CISF put the airport under security lockdown. The AAI fire department personnel took over the runaway and refused to allow any plane to land.
The situation was brought under control only by Thursday morning. Airport director Janardhanan told PTI that by early morning operations had become normal and the first two flights had landed, while the flight that was diverted to Bengaluru was also on its way to Karipur Airport.
Vishnu N @vishnu_n
How can someone demand not to participate in security check at airport? #calicut #Kerala
Kichu NaMO @krishna6leo
As the news broke out abt the shootout at Calicut intl yestrday nite. I was suddenly reminded of the Karachi incident
What security is there in the airport? take action against the authorities #karipur #calicut #kozhikode #AirportFiring
@vtk2009 @aamsstar @AnjaliGorg Calicut airport is a haven for gold smugglers, counterfeit money, and muslim radicals. One must be careful.
Anil Podhuval. ACA @anilpodval
@PMOIndia the staff of AAI posted in Calicut are arrogant and have close link with Gold Smugglers. Please initiate strict action