Mumbai, Maharashtra on high alert
Security forces across Maharashtra, and specially Mumbai, have been put on high alert following the death of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Saturday afternoon. HT reports.mumbai Updated: Nov 18, 2012 01:49 IST
Security forces across Maharashtra, and specially Mumbai, have been put on high alert following the death of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Saturday afternoon.
The Mumbai police issued an advisory asking citizens to step out of their houses only in case of an emergency and communicated through TV, radio and SMS about the roads to avoid.
"The state has been put on high alert and State Reserve Police Forces (SRPF) have been deployed at all sensitive areas across the state, with central paramilitary forces standing by," said Sanjeev Dayal, director general of police (Maharashtra).
News of the Sena chief's death slowed down cities like Pune and Raigad and Mumbai's satellite cities, such as Thane and Navi Mumbai, with Shiv Sainiks enforcing a bandh on Saturday.
Stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported in Pune, though no one was reported injured. In Navi Mumbai, too, there were incidents of Sainiks forcibly shutting down shops. In Belgaum, Marathi outfits have called for a district-wide bandh on Sunday to mourn the Sena chief's death.
The Mumbai Police have also made elaborate security arrangements to ensure the law and order situation is under control, with close to 20,000 policemen deployed across the city, Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh said.
Police stations have also been asked to patrol their areas, while special squads such as the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads have been posted at various parts of the city.
These arrangements will be in effect till late Sunday evening. In addition to this, 5 companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), and three companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in the city.
"We do not anticipate any violence, but are well prepared to handle any situation," Singh said.
Singh urged citizens to maintain calm. "Stern action will be taken against those who try to take advantage of the situation."
Key areas such as Matoshree at Bandra, the Shiv Sena Bhavan and Shivaji Park at Dadar will see a near-watertight police presence. A large number of VIP's are expected to visit the city, for whom security would be provided, while grieving Thackeray family members would also be given police protection, Singh said.
Tight security in Thane, suburbs
In Thane, Kalyan, Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Ambernath, shop owners voluntarily downed shutters, and rickshaws in the city went off the roads following news of his death.
Angry Shiv Sainiks damaged three buses and two rickshaws in Ulhasnagar after hearing that public transport vehicles were plying there after news of Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death. A bus in Kalyan was also attacked by Sainiks enforcing the bandh.
Additional police commissioner, Thane, Dnyaneshwar Phadtare, said, "We have beefed up security at public places such as railway stations, bus termini and market places. Thane, Kalwa, Mumbra, Dombivli, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath and Badlapur have been covered. He added, "We also have 18 SRP platoons, Quick Response Teams, Right Intervention Vehicles, Rapid Action Force to tackle any law and order problems."