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Posted Online on Monday, 18 September 2006 20:00 IST

Israeli Airline demands special rights of surveillance around Mumbai airport

Muslim Islamic NewsBy Ghulam Muhammed

The Milli Gazette Online

Mumbai: According to Urdu daily Inquilab report of August 23, 2006, Israel has asked Mumbai airport authorities for especial privileges to secure their airline security, in view of Mumbai airport being surrounded by big slum colonies. Of the scores of foreign airlines flying into Mumbai Airport, it is only the Israeli Airline, EL AL that has made an issue of security out of the existence of slums around the airport parameter. 

Fifty percent population of Mumbai city lives in slums and the problem is one of the most vexatious challenges to the make over of the city. 

However, it is strange that an airline should demand especial rights from the state government to introduce its own security details around its use of an international airport. One can only marvel at the audacity of Israeli Airlines officials who are demanding that they be allowed the right to aerial survey the surrounding area by using their own helicopter, to ensure the safety of their flights. 

On the surface, the request would appear very innocent. However, it does challenge the very authority and capability of the concerned authorities to allow such interventionist measure compromising with sovereign rights of the state. 

The private request for private security is a serious breech into the overall management of state security and could become a precedent for Israeli security agencies to infiltrate into internal law and order problems. 

It is quite possible that Israeli agencies themselves may create incidents to force the government to bide to their highhanded demands. Indian authorities should not rule out such dire possibilities, especially when the hand of Mossad is being cited as possible suspects in Mumbai train blasts. 

It is notable that such highhanded demands from Israel and the US is always expected to be forced on governments all around the world, in an ongoing bullying culture that these two 'chosen' countries make on supposedly weaker nations of the world. Indian authorities should summarily reject all such intrusions into their strictly sovereign areas of operations and let Israel Airline decide if it is willing to be treated as all other airlines of the world or quit the sector for its own safety and security. [25 August 2006]

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