“Citizens have been kept hostages and there are gunmen at Inorbit Mall at Malad. The situation is similar to Hotel Taj and Trident, where Lashkar-e-Tayyeba militants had kept people captive. Reach the spot immediately and salvage the situation.”
Officers from the Quick Response Team (QRT) and Bangur Nagar police received this call from the main control room on Sunday morning.
About 80 men from the QRT and more than 100 men from the local police station as well as the fire control, made an ambush into the mall within 10 minutes.
“It was a surprise call from the control room and we acted immediately. The police, especially the QRT did a commendable job,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (North region) Ramrao Pawar.
He added that the response time of the police to these calls has decreased immensely. “Apart from responding to these calls, we have also ensured there should be no traffic problem and the crowd is controlled,” he said.
“We were told to evict the mall immediately that raised panic and fear,” said Neeta Sharma, a housewife from Malad who was shopping at the mall.
Vehicular traffic was diverted from Linking Road, resulting in jams on nearby roads. “I was travelling towards Croma in Malad when I saw eight police vans and policemen standing outside Inorbit. There was chaos and vehicles were being diverted,” said Priya Thakur.
A similar drill was carried out at the Phoenix Mills mall, Lower Parel and JW Marriot Hotel in Juhu from 1 pm to 3 pm on Sunday. “We got a call from the control room that an emergency situation has created panic in the mall. Within seven minutes the QRT officers and policemen were at the spot,” said Police Sub Inspector S. Manger.
“We conducted a mock drill at JW Marriot to check the response time of the police. We did not evacuate the hotel guests and visitors. Three combat vehicles and 25 officers from the QRT rushed into the hotel and took positions,” said M. Chaudhary, Senior Police Inspector of Santacruz police station.