TAMIL NADU

Security breach at Madurai airport

MADURAI OCT. 26. The alleged security breach noticed during the October 22 visit of the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, at the airport here has raised several eyebrows. The sudden appearance of an AIADMK activist on the tarmac area to greet Ms. Jayalalithaa gave some tense moments to the police.

Even as officials are perplexed how the ``intruder'' gained access to the sterile zone, the elite `Core Cell' sleuths, who provide security to Ms. Jayalalithaa round-the-clock, are said to have given the `red-pass' to the functionary.

According to airport sources, the Central Industrial Security Force guards at the airport main entrance stopped the activist, said to be an office-bearer of the `Jayalalithaa Peravai', as only MLAs and district secretaries were to be allowed. However, he managed to enter the visitors lobby and then the security check hall claiming he was the ``district secretary''. It is here, officials suspect, he was given a red-pass by one of the `Core Cell' plainclothesmen with which the activist proceeded to the tarmac. By the time senior officials could realise the presence of the ``intruder'', he mingled with MLAs and the two district secretaries to greet Ms. Jayalalithaa, who arrived in a special aircraft and hopped onto a waiting chopper to Srivilliputtur to attend a Government function. While no complaint has been preferred either by the CISF or Airport Authority of India officials yet, the police are keeping their fingers crossed since it is not clear, who gave the red-pass.

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