The Juhu Aerodrome witnessed high drama during midnight on Sunday, when few locals from the neighbouring Nehru Nagar area allegedly attacked two airport security guards.
According to an FIR registered with the Santacruz police, the incident happened around 1 am, when guards Sadashiv Tukaram Bugade (58) and Anil Nalawade (38) were on duty at the watchtower inside the airport premises.
Five men, who were allegedly drunk and armed with wooden sticks, smashed down the periphery wall and started hitting the two guards in the area.
Bugade suffered severe injuries to his head while Nalawade received wounds to his left eye and ear.
Following the incident, the Quick Response Team (QRT) rushed the injured duo to Cooper Hospital. The two are currently recuperating at the Airport Authority of India (AAI) office thanks to them not being in a state to travel back to their homes in Kalyan and Dombivli.
Bugade said that the attackers first entered the premises at around 11.45 pm on Friday to steal the concertina coil (barbed wire) that surrounds the wall.
Despite Nalawade driving them away, the attackers returned at around 1 am and started hitting the two, said Bugade.
An FIR has been registered under IPC section 394, 34 and 447 for voluntarily causing hurt and criminal trespass with the Juhu police looking for the accused.
An airport authority said that this is not the first time that the Juhu Aerodrome has seen incidents of trespassing as slum dwellers from the Indira and Nehru Nagar areas have done it in the past too.
The authority added that the wall (built as per norms of the International Civil Aviation Organization) is almost ten-feet high still the locals manage to break it, despite it being repaired.
Also to tighten security, the airport authorities had deployed police officials to man the area but then the move has failed badly.
The authority said that the locals are not afraid of the police and even throw stones.
The Juhu Airport authorities are now in talks with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and AAI to ensure that the Maharashtra Security Force patrols the area.
Also, Dhanushyakodi Sivanandan, former DGP of Maharashtra labeled is as a ‘serious issue of concern’ and something which ‘should not be taken lightly’.
Sivanandan concluded that authorities must deploy Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and also use advanced technology to tackle the encroachers.