For a little over three hours at the Mumbai International Airport on Wednesday, security was thoroughly compromised.
Sources say that a fight between customs officials and the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force), which handles security for the airport, left some entrance and exit gates unguarded.
Customs officials intercepted two vans belonging to the CISF after a tip-off that drugs were being smuggled in the vehicles. An inspection showed that was not correct, but the two vans did not have the passes or documents needed to enter high-security zones of the airport so they were confiscated.
In protest, CISF officers pulled their guards from two gates - one at the international airport used to transport cargo, luggage and food to different airlines and another leading to the airstrip at the domestic airport.
Customs officials then posted their own men in these areas - who were not armed - till the CISF returned to work. (Read: The war that left the Mumbai Airport unguarded for hours
Customs Commissioner PM Saleem denies that the row began after he pulled up in a vehicle to drop off his wife for a flight and took offense to his car being stopped and checked by security guards. "The security of the Airport is our top most priority and we will never do anything to compromise it. I have also abided by the norms and didn't raise any protest while being checked yesterday" he told NDTV today.