Cops step up vigil after terror threat calls to Taj hotelsUpdated: Jul 01, 2020 00:00 IST
The Mumbai Police beefed up security outside Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Towers in Colaba and Hotel Taj Lands End in Bandra after a caller who identified himself as a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative from Pakistan made two phone calls to the hotels and issued threats on Monday night. The iconic hotel in Colaba was the major target of Pakistani terrorists during the 26/11 attacks. The calls were made on the day the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi was attacked by four terrorists, killing four security personnel.
A senior police officer, requesting anonymity, confirmed the threat calls and additional deployment at both hotels. Apart from quick-reaction teams (QRTs), counter-terrorism units have also been stationed as per requirements and protocol, said officers. Police officers said the first call was made around 12.30 am to Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Towers in Colaba which was attended by a hotel staffer. The caller said he will blow up the hotel in a fashion similar to when LeT operatives had laid siege to the hotel on November 26, 2008 for 60 hours.
Later, the caller called up Hotel Taj Lands End in Bandra and issued a similar threat. Both calls were made from a number now being investigated by a team of cyber police officials, said Mumbai Police officers. While both hotels have shut down its operations currently due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown that has been imposed, all measures are being taken to prevent any untoward situation, said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity. After the phone calls, Mumbai police has increased patrolling across the city and has stepped up its vigil across all vital installations in the city.