A Correspondent

NEDUMBASSERY: Security measures have been tightened at Cochin International Airport in view of the Republic Day celebrations.

Frisking of passengers has been made more stringent and their baggage is being thoroughly scanned. Cargo screening has also been tightened. Visitor's entry to the terminals remains banned. Strict surveillance has been maintained along the approach path of aircraft while a close eye has been kept over the staff entering aircraft.

The State police have intensified their patrolling along the airport's external peripheries. Bomb detection and disposal squads and dog squads are carrying out frequent checks. The police are gathering information on the occupants of nearby hotels.

Vehicles entering the airport premises are being thoroughly checked. Vehicles are not allowed in front of the terminals for long durations. Information is collected on those vehicles that remain in the parking area for long durations.

A security meeting was held at the airport on Friday to decide on the implementation of various security measures. Special Branch Superintendent of Police K.K. Chellappan, Assistant Central Intelligence Officer P.S. Jayaprakash, Emigration Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) P.K. Gopinathan, Aluva Dy.SP E. T. Mathew, Perumbavur Dy.SP N.V. George, Chief Airport Security Officer Commandant K.C. Suresh Kumar, Airport Director A.C.K. Nair and Airport Senior Manager (Security) M. Muralidhran Nair attended the meeting.

Intelligence agencies have been asked to maintain high vigil at sensitive installations, including airports, in southern States, especially in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the Airport Director said.