Taj, Trident seek CISF cover


New Delhi : Mumbai’s Taj and Trident hotels, targets of terror attacks in November, are among 51 private sector establishments that have sought the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), a police officer said Saturday.

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“Over 50 companies have sought security cover from the force. They include the Taj hotel, the Trident and the Marriott hotel (also in Mumbai),” CISF Director General N.R. Das told reporters here.

The CISF had hitherto been guarding only state-owned enterprises, airports and key government buildings.

Parliament last month broadened the ambit of its deployment – on payment – to also cover private sector enterprises as part of the enhanced security measures put in place in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Das said the CISF was prioritising deployment in the private sector.

“Our first priority will be companies in the oil, IT, power, airport and seaport sectors as these are vital for the industrial and economic growth of the country. Then we will provide security to companies in militancy-affected areas,” Das said. “Our next priority will be companies that make heavy investments.”

Das said the force was being augmented to cater to the increased demand.

The CISF, which currently has a strength of over 100,000 personnel, guards 57 airports and important buildings and services like nuclear power stations, Delhi Metro, the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal.

According to Das, CISF will deploy 150 companies in the April-May Lok Sabha elections but it has not yet been contacted by the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament organisers.

Das admitted to security lapses at the Delhi airport in recent times.

In one such instance, a man in a Quails car reportedly fired inside the airport premises and sped away before the security personnel could react.

Security arrangements were also put to test after a hijack scare aboard a New Delhi-bound domestic flight.

“After the incidents, there were many meetings between various agencies and systems were fine-tuned. A standard procedure was also decided (for) such emergencies,” Das said.