First sketch of suspected Uran terrorist released, Mumbai remains on high alert
Uran police on Thursday evening released the sketch of one of the suspected terrorists who was spotted by the school children earlier in the day. The sketch has since then been circulated to local police stations and all investigating agencies.
The Western Naval Command (WNC) issued a high alert along the Mumbai coast after four men in were spotted moving suspiciously near a Naval facility in Uran, about 50 kms from Mumbai, on Thursday morning.
The kids, who had spotted the men, told school authorities that the suspects had covered their faces and were ‘speaking a different language’. The class 9 students had spotted the men near an ammunition storage facility of the naval base in Uran around 11 am.
The children also said that they could make out two prominent words in their conversation, ‘school’ and ‘ONGC’. The men were wearing pathanis and carrying heavy backpacks.
The students from UES school in Uran first informed the principal, following which police was alerted.
“Two students have informed that they have seen suspicious men in Uran. While one student has claimed of spotting one person, the other has claimed to have seen five. Post the information, multiple agencies are probing it,” said DGP Satish Mathur.
Sources from the Navy say that they are treating the information with utmost importance and have already launched efforts to secure all bases.
A State-1 alert was ordered because of the presence of an ammunition depot and close vicinity of INS Abhimanyu near the spot where the children sighted the men.
The WNC issued the highest state of alert along the Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad coasts and roped in local police and Coast Guard for the task.
Marine commandos MARCOS have been deployed at the Uran Navy base. All air force units in Mumbai are also on high alert.
The nation on the whole has been on guard since the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri on Sunday, in which 18 soldiers were killed.
Meanwhile, police personnel, Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) and Navy have launched a massive operation to track the men. Mumbai police have also put up nakabanbdis across the city.
National Security Guard (NSG) teams have been deployed at three locations in Mumbai and another team has been kept on standby in Delhi.
Security has been beefed up at sensitive locations along the coast, including the Gateway of India, Raj Bhawan, Bombay High (rig), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and other major establishments near the sea.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is enroute to Mumbai from United States, spoke to the state Director General of Police Satish Mathur, Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar and Intelligence Commissioner about the operations.
He also appealed to citizens to stay calm and said that all necessary precautions are being taken to prevent any untoward incident.
Back in 2008, a group of armed militants from terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba had entered the city via the sea route and 166 people in one of the worst attacks in Mumbai. Uran is located 50 km from Mumbai.
As of 2 am on Friday, no arrests have been made.