In one of the biggest mobilisation of forces in recent times, the Mumbai police made massive deployments across the city on Thursday as thousands of Shiv Sena supporters flocked to Matoshree in suburban Bandra where Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray continued to be unwell.
A highly placed Mumbai police official told HT that over 10,000-odd men at police stations across the city were kept on alert and asked not to leave until further orders. All leaves in the force, from constables to officers, have been cancelled and those who were on leave were called back and asked to report to duty by Thursday noon. Police stations in the western suburbs have been asked to maintain 100% attendance and cover all areas in their jurisdiction. Most senior officials, including Mumbai police chief Satyapal Singh, were monitoring the situation by patrolling on the ground or from their offices.
Even the crime branch maintained 100% staff presence in all its 12 field units, as well as those stationed in the centralised units, and would be deployed if need arises.Three additional companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed, along with 2,000 additional forces which were summoned from outside the city early on Thursday.
An additional 5,000 men were called in from the Mumbai police reserve, the Local Arms division, and pressed into duty. An additional force of the state reserve police force (SRPF) was also deployed at various points. Officials said because of the tense situation in western Maharashtra on account of the farmers’ agitation on sugarcane rates, some of the force which was diverted to Mumbai could not be brought in.
The Mumbai police have made deployments at many sensitive areas because of the unabated rumour mongering on Thursday. Officials have assured the public that there was no security or law and order problem in the city, and that they have taken all possible precautions as a large number of party workers are visiting the city.