New Delhi: After recent inputs from Central intelligence agencies over the need for securing metro trains inside underground tunnels, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has started a response training program for its quick reaction teams (QRTs). Senior officers said that the training will equip commandos to handle the situation in case a metro coach is highjacked, rescue passengers and neutralize terrorists inside the tunnel.
An officer associated with the program said the training which started recently will be completed within three months. The drill is conducted between midnight and 4 am when metro operations for the public are closed, he said.
Officials said the paramilitary force is conducting the training at different stations every day so that commandos become familiar with most of the existing tunnels.
“There is no cause for alarm for the public. It was during our meetings that we learned that the metro trains inside tunnels are vulnerable to terror attacks. There are chances that passengers could be held hostage inside trains. In such a scenario, our approach to the affected train or coach becomes difficult. Keeping in mind the challenges, a programme was designed so that our commandos can be equipped and trained to intervene in such a situation,” said an officer, not authorized to speak to the media.
The officer said in such a situation, commandos will approach the train from both ends. “Our role is to control the situation until the National Security Guards arrive. However, since the CISF is the first responder to any such situation in Delhi Metro, we need to be prepared and trained to handle such a crisis,” the officer said.
Recalling challenges faced by commandos during the training, he said the tunnels remain dark and are relatively low on oxygen. “A medical team accompanies the commandos as they move into the tunnel. The tunnel has lights but they are very dim. In any such situation, the entire operation will have to be completed in the dark. Our men are already trained in handling weapons blindfolded,” the officer said.
The CISF men are also being taught how to access a locked metro train from outside. “They will carry specially designed tools which will help them get inside a train,” the officer added.
The officer also mentioned that such alerts from intelligence agencies are received in routine to strengthen the existing security perimeter. “It does not concern general commuters. There is no cause for alarm though,” he said.