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Mumbai on high alert ahead of New Year

The police will also keep a close watch on all places of hangout during the festive season.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2006 13:40 IST

Anticipating terror attacks during the year-end and New Year's eve, Mumbai Police have beefed up security at places of worship, railway stations and other areas in the city and its suburbs.

The police will also keep a close watch on all places of hangout during the festive season.

A communication issued to all police stations across the city and its suburbs says that an anonymous caller informed the Mumbai Police control room of an impending terror attack during the time.

"We received an anonymous call and have beefed up security in and around the city," said Mumbai Police Commissioner AN Roy, confirming that the city was put on high alert.

Roy said the city would see Congress president Sonia Gandhi's rally at Shivaji Park at Dadar in central Mumbai on Saturday, followed by Christmas, New Year and then Id-Ul-Zuha on January 1.

"We have beefed up security in preparation for these events. Sensitive commercial areas and places of worship are under surveillance and police presence in these areas have been strengthened," he added.

The railway authorities have also enhanced the security. "We are stepping up security at all stations," said Railway Police Commissioner Suresh Khopde.

"We have received intelligence reports indicating that nightclubs and pubs, which are usually packed and frequented by high-profile people, could be targeted by terror outfits," said Additional Commissioner of Police (Western Region) Bipin Bihari.

"We are taking no chances this year. We are keeping close watch on several nightspots in Juhu, Bandra, Khar and the rest of the western suburbs."

Police will deploy a select group of plainclothes undercover agents as "guests" at these nightspots.

"The agents will mingle with the party crowd to keep a close watch on them," added Bihari, following specific tip-off that drug peddlers would be trying to arrange major deals during the period at the nightspots.

The official, however, declined to give the number of undercover agents to be deployed.

"Both men and women officers will be deployed."

First Published: Dec 21, 2006 11:22 IST