Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Harvard Prof’s stolen bag exposes chinks in IGI airport’s security

NEW DELHI, MAY 24: At a time when, following the Pulwama terror attack, the country’s airports are on high alert, the Delhi Police have found some loopholes in the security measures at the car park of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport while investigating a theft case involving a Professor of Harvard Medical School.
A detailed audit has revealed that the Terminal-3 MLCP (multi-level car park) of the IGI Airport has some dark spots and that CCTV coverage needs to be improved to help the police in solving crime cases.
The US-based doctor lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police on March 5, claiming that he lost his laptop bag containing around $5,000, a laptop and its accessories, his passport and other important documents. The bag also contained a research paper, which contained his life’s work. Eventually, the Delhi Police managed to trace his laptop bag and track down the culprit. Impressed by its professionalism, the Harvard Professor wrote to the Delhi Police Commissioner, thanking the Department for tracing his belongings.
But for the Delhi Police, it was not an easy task since the area from where the bag was stolen was not covered by CCTV cameras.
“We recreated the crime scene and while inspecting it, we noticed that although several cameras were installed, they had different controlling authority. Detailed scrutiny revealed that within 15 minutes, the bag, which the Professor had forgotten, was picked up by someone. After scanning the footage from 500 different cameras, we zeroed in on 4 vehicles. Finally, their examination led us to the bag lifter – a driver of another car. The bag, along with all its contents, was recovered. However, by that time, the Professor had already left India. He was later was informed about it,” said Sanjay Bhatia, DCP (Airport).
The Professor, after hearing this, wrote to the Delhi Police Commissioner stating, “Expectations from the police to find my bag were minimal to none”.
“I was extremely worried and distraught. To my surprise as I landed in the US on March 17, I was informed that my bag has been recovered with all the contents,” he wrote in the letter while thanking the Delhi Police.
According to Bhatia, the case helped them to identify the dark spots in the car park of the airport. He then wrote to the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) asking them to increase the number of CCTV cameras in the parking area.
“The existing security measures at the Terminal-3 MLCP (multi-level car park) of the IGI Airport are being reviewed and all feedback given by the security authorities are being included in the ongoing technical refresh,” said a spokesperson for DIAL.
The Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), which is on high alert since the Pulwama attack, has specifically asked for enhanced security in car parking areas. (Courtesy: HT)