LIFE

Big brother is watching you

INTERNATIONAL AIR travellers using the Anna International Terminal (AIT) as their gateway were fondly hoping that the security machinery at the terminals would improve for the better with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) taking over from the State police.

A recent incident involving a CISF Head Constable on duty demanding and accepting `bribe' from a passenger, that too after the installation of the surveillance cameras and Closed Circuit TVs, has been reported.

The cameras are jointly monitored by the designated officials of the Immigration, Customs, International Airports Division of the Airports Authority of India and the CISF.

Airport sources say Karunakaran, Head Constable of CISF, was spotted demanding and accepting ``bribe'' from a Gulf-bound passenger on the surveillance cameras. Immediately, a posse of officials was despatched to nab the Head Constable on duty at Gate No.7 at the main entrance of the AIT.

On seeing the team of officials, the CISF policeman, swallowed the foreign currency that he had got from the traveller as `bribe'. But, the crackdown team could only get a portion of the swallowed currency. After preliminary investigation, the Head Constable has been placed under suspension, pending enquiry.

Some arriving passengers say that even State Police personnel are able to `squeeze' themselves into the exit point, which should be off limits to them because of the CISF-only rule, and try to extort some money from the less confident passengers.

The policemen stop them and pretend to assess their baggage, before asking for some cash.

Moral of the story: ``Old Habits die Hard.''

By Shankar T.S.

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