With Indians and assets in Afghanistan coming under constant attack from Taliban and al-Qaida, Air India has beefed up security in flights to and from Kabul following information that it was a "sitting duck" for terror groups.
While the airline officials declined to speak on the issue, sources in the national carrier said that a two-tier security mechanism has been put in place which carries out extensive check of all the baggages loaded into the aircraft.
The flag carrier, which is one of the few international airlines that operates to Kabul, six times a week with virtually full load, has been spotted as by international and Indian agencies a "sitting duck" for terror groups like Taliban, al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Finding that screening continued to be "lax", intelligence agencies have told Indian authorities that extra steps needed to be taken for ensuring safety of passengers as terror groups were planning either to hijack its aircraft or smuggle some explosives in the luggage, if the screening continued to be lax.
The screening of the baggage is being done by a local Afghan agency and now Air India has included another tier of security where its security staff carry out screening of the luggage of all the passengers, the sources said.
A report emanating from the war-ravaged country shows terror groups were attempting to penetrate into the ground handling agency of Air India, an information which has been shared with the Afghan Civil Aviation Authorities as well.
The Air India aircraft also carry air marshals on board and have a special contingent for the security of the plane while on tarmac at the Kabul International airport. PTI