Red alert: Police pull up socks, take to streets to secure Mumbai

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 05, 2015 22:11 IST

After alerts of possible terror attack in the capital, along with recent security threat off the Gujarat coast, the Mumbai police have increased their presence across the city, and armed personnel have been deployed at almost all vital installations including religious places and political establishments.

Not wanting to be caught unawares, nearly 20,000 personnel have been deputed for patrolling and fixed point duties.

Police personnel are manning highways, major roads, and sensitive areas.

When contacted, Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesperson for Mumbai police, said security had to be increased in wake of recent terror alerts, along with some local problems.

Officials said they had the first-line combat units such as the Quick Response Team and Force One on standby. Also, bomb detection and disposal squads (BDDS) have been kept on alert.

Several policemen can be spotted around major railways stations, religious places, markets, malls, heritage structures, bus depots and five-star hotels.

The police are also focusing on parking under major flyovers in the city, based on tip-off that the terrorist may strike by planting explosives in vehicles in crowded areas.

The increase in security started from the first week of December, after central intelligence agencies released input that five terrorists of Students Islamic Movement of India’s (Simi) Madhya Pradesh unit were likely to strike in the city, along with Rajasthan and Gujarat.

While nothing happened in Mumbai, the Simi module did manage to carry out a low-intensity blast in Bangalore, which left one woman dead.

After this the police were on alert for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. On New Year’s Eve, a suspected terror boat from Pakistan was intercepted by Coast Guards off Porbandar.

* Religious and worship places across the city such as Sidhhivinayak, Mahalaxmi, Mumbadevi, Babulnath, Swaminarayan temples, Haji Ali, Mahim Dargah and a few churches have been provided extra security cover
* Additional security deployed outside major railway stations, bus depots and airports
* Security at the stock exchange, RBI headquarters, BARC, heritage structures, five-star hotels, popular tourist destinations, Bandra-Worli sea link and major flyovers has been enhanced
* High presence of policemen in market and crowded areas.

* The anti-terrorism have been asked to gather information on suspicious activities in hotels, lodges, guest houses
* Policemen in plain clothes have been instructed to mingle in crowd to ensure access to vital information, and to ensure no untoward incidents took place
* Riot Control Force, Rapid Action force, SRPF are on standby

* Prohibitory orders have been issued in the state, which do not allow:
* Any assembly of five or more persons,
* Any procession of any persons
* Use of loudspeakers, and amplifying instruments, musical band and bursting of crackers in any procession.

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