Structural lapses not our fault, says CISF
CISF’s reply came when after screening the CCTV footage, it was found that the man passed his bag from a space near the ticket counter instead of putting it inside the X-ray screening machine installed at the entry points.
<g data-gr-id="56">Shibesh</g> Kumar Pal, 24, a resident of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, along with his sister Geeta fooled the security forces deployed at Chandni Chowk Metro station at around 6.35 pm and managed to exchange a bag carrying the firearm in it. As seen in the CCTV footage, it was noticed that Pal’s sister entered the station premises after her security check was complete.
Further, Pal passed a bag to her from the top of the glass barricades (height of the barricade is till the waist) near the security check area. He then went through the security check himself and the duo boarded the Metro with the bag. It is important to mention here that the glass barricading is used as a partition between the entry and exit points.
Steering away from admitting their fault, senior commandant of the paramilitary force, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Prabodh Chandra, said: “The man entered the Chandni Chowk Metro station at 6:30 pm with his sister. The duo <g data-gr-id="54">were</g> standing in a corner for 10 minutes. Since both of them were carrying bags, he handed over the bag containing the country-made pistol to Geeta before going in for frisking.
“After going through the security check, he entered the paid area. His sister handed over the bag to him over the glass partition. The point where they were standing is not visible and is next to the customer care cabin and the AFC gate.”
Speaking to Millennium Post, Hemendra Singh, spokesperson of CISF said: “During the security analysis conducted by CISF, it was found that the low height of the glass barricades posed a security threat and unwanted elements could misuse them easily. For the past two, three years both the agencies — CISF and DMRC — are working on it and so far DMRC has improvised it in seven Metro stations including Saket and Race Course.”
He further added that if there is any security goof-up because of structural setup then it is not CISF’s responsibility. In that case, DMRC is to be blamed. The CISF officials are only <g data-gr-id="47">responsible </g><g data-gr-id="48"><g data-gr-id="47">to provide</g> a safe environment by deploying the force</g>.
“Also, we don’t have adequate staff and that is why, at times, incidents like suicides, thefts take place,” he added.
According to another official, few years ago, the CISF had written a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs demanding 2,500 more security personnel but nothing has been done in this regard yet. Currently, the total strength of CISF is around 5,000.
“The demand was made because several security issues were cropping up due to staff crunch. Now, it has been <g data-gr-id="45">learnt</g> that the demand will be fulfilled only after completion of the 3rd phase of Metro,” the official requesting anonymity said.
Despite several attempts, Anuj Dayal, DMRC spokesperson remained unavailable for comments.
Meanwhile, Pal’s sister Geeta said that her brother was not depressed or was not undergoing any mental pressure. It was just his brother’s tactic to check the loopholes present in the security system of the Metro station.
Calling it a patriotic stance, she said he had overheard people discussing a possible terrorist attack on October 2.
To verify if the security system was in place, he fired at himself. According to the police, a case under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Arms Act have been registered.