Delhi

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A non-existent boundary wall makes the Air Force base in Hindon vulnerable to anexternal threat.photo: sandeep saxena

A non-existent boundary wall makes the Air Force base in Hindon vulnerable to anexternal threat.photo: sandeep saxena  

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: Twenty-six-year-old Roshan Kumar, a local courier agent, had easy access to the Indian Air Force station at Rajokri here till recently. But things have changed drastically for him and other visitors to the camp after the Pathankot attack earlier this year.

“Before the attack, they would allow me to deliver the couriers to individuals inside the camp. No one would stop me. Since they recognised my face, sometimes the security guards at the entrance did not even bother to frisk me. But the attack has changed it all. Now I am not allowed to go beyond the main entrance and need to call the consignee to come to the gate. It has caused me a lot of trouble,” said Roshan, who runs his agency at Rajokri village just across the road to the IAF station.

Also, the visitors are not allowed to step inside before being frisked outside the main entrance. Earlier the frisking was done inside the camp, a local claimed.

But that’s not all.

The locals claim that the security around the camp has increased visibly since the attack. Sharing his experience, Raj Kumar, a vegetable vendor, said that he and many other vendors like him are now not allowed to stand along the boundary of the station.

“Even visitors to the nearby hotel, Maple Emerald, can't park their vehicles along the wall. The trees along the wall have been pruned,” said Raj Kumar.

The police patrolling around the camp, which falls under the jurisdiction of Vasant Kunj (South) police station, has also increased several folds since the attack, police sources said.

“Earlier, cops could not be sighted for days together, but now they come on motorcycles two to three times a day. The vehicles parked illegally on the street are challaned,” said a shopkeeper, not willing to be named.

Sharing its boundary wall with Dhanchari camp in Gurgaon, the IAF station authorities have expressed concern over the regular functions being organised at the camp as well and had written a letter to Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner T.L. Satyaprakash in this regard.

The letter also raised concern over the temporary structures being erected at the camp: “It has been noticed that temporary constructions have been erected by some civil agencies without any prior permission from the Air Force, which is dangerous in view of the routine day/night range firing practice being conducted regularly at this station.”

The letter further said that the location and height of these constructions were also a security concern for this base as anyone can visually observe activities of the station or scale the perimeter wall creating security breach. The letter said that in view of the “recent attack at Pathankot air base, immediate corrective action is considered desirable”.

Spread across several acres Dhanchiri Camp was developed for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Now, the camp is used for official functions and sometimes marriages too.

“We have decided that no events would be allowed at the camp in the future without NOC from the authorities of IAF station Rajokri,” Mr. Satyaprakash told The Hindu .



Locals say a whirlwind of changes regarding security have taken place recently



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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 1:24:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/access-restricted-for-visitors/article8190378.ece

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