For the first time since al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahri announced the formation of an Indian wing of the global terror group, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria, on Wednesday, acknowledged the threat as real.
While stating that security arrangements would remain in place even though the Ganpati festival was over, Maria said the police deployment on streets was not just in response to the terror threats, but also to fight street crime. Dealing with terrorism and the underworld are priority for the city police, he said.
Last week, after Zawahri’s announcement, intelligence agencies had alerted all state units to take immediate precautions. Zawahri had promised to defend the “vulnerable in... Burma, Bangladesh, Islamabad, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad and Kashmir” through this wing.
This year, more than 50,000 policemen had been deployed in the city during the 10-day Ganpati festival, along with central forces such as the BSF, to avert any untoward incident.