29 November 2015 – Daily Mail
Intelligence inputs last week warned of an aerial attack on Delhi.
Mail Today then reported on November 28 that ISIS and other terror groups are planning a drone attack on the national capital sometime in coming days.
However, efforts to prevent an attack have been all talk and no action.
On October 27, a flying object was spotted by Air Traffic Control at the Delhi Airport
Security personnel guarding the Capital are now expected to spot low-flying objects that can be a potential terror threat. The question is: Are they trained to combat such a threat?
In the absence of a well-worked-out mechanism to counter an aerial strike threat, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) wants policemen to keep an eye on the skies.
Sources in the security establishment say the threat of an aerial strike is a real one, but preparation is far from satisfactory.
An MHA draft note, laying down standard operating procedures to counter aerial attacks, accessed by Mail Today, stated that “visual means are best suited for their detection”, leaving the onus on Delhi Police to guard against suspicious aerial objects.
The government has also roped in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guarding the airport and important government installations.
The note explicitly states that it has been prepared by “non-expert MHA officers”.
With the Air Force reluctant to deal with the monitoring of “sub-convention aerial platforms” that include drones, para-gliders, para-motors, hand gliders, micro-light aircrafts, the onus is on the local police and the CISF.
The ambiguity of the draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has already triggered a debate within the security establishment.
A top Delhi Police officer says the MHA draft, if approved, will be a big headache for Delhi Police as they are already struggling with multiple issues, including shortage of staff and limited technology.
“Practically, it is not possible to keep an on every suspicious object flying over Delhi. A cop is not trained to identify such aerial platforms,” he said.
On the other hand, the CISF has also said that primarily, it is the responsibility of the IAF to identify such aerial objects.
“On October 27, a flying object was noticed by the Air Traffic Control at the Delhi Airport and before any agency could react, it vanished. Even the IAF couldn’t get time to react on time. Whole process of identifying the object and informing Delhi police and other agencies took almost an hour,” a senior CISF official said.
In the six-page draft, prepared by the MHA, it’s stated that sightings of sub-conventional aerial platforms are on the rise in Delhi. The draft has been sent to the IAF, Delhi Police, CISF, and the Ministry of Civil aviation for their inputs and suggestions.
The ministry is planning to finalise a SOP for aerial attacks within a week. According to the MHA draft, the decision to shoot down the suspicious flying object will be taken by Delhi Police and other security agencies.
“Such attacks require an integrated approach by multiple agencies for detection and neutralisation. However, all the arrangements are to be undertaken after taking the air space clearance from the IAF. The decision to fire at suspicious aerial object rests with Delhi Police and other security agencies,” the MHA draft says.
The MHA has also prescribed a format to deal with such attacks. The ministry wants Delhi Police to take immediate measures.
“Delhi Police will be responsible to seize prohibited aerial objects. It will also register cases under the IPC,” the note says.
29 November 2015 – Daily Mail