Multiple security agencies continued their hawk-eyed vigil on Friday to apprehend the five-or-six masked persons sighted in Uran village in Raigad by some students early on Thursday with the Maharashtra Police releasing sketches of two suspects, officials said.
Security at all critical installations and sensitive locations in Mumbai and adjoining Raigad, Navi Mumbai has been beefed up with police road blocks, fishermen keeping a lookout in Arabian Sea and aerial-surface combing operations underway in different parts.
At least two to four schoolchildren had reported spotting some unidentified persons – ranging from one to five – wearing masks, Pathan suits and carrying weapons around 7 am on Thursday.
They informed their teacher, who in turn alerted the police and the entire security apparatus swung into action within hours.
Schools, colleges, shops and establishments in Uran and surroundings remained shut for the second day today as security officials continued their search to locate the potential mischief makers.
Returning from a trip to the US late Thursday night, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appealed to the people not to panic as adequate security arrangements were in place in Uran, around 50 km on the mainland from Mumbai.
Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said that police and other security agencies have launched operations to trace out these suspects.
“Till now, the version of two witnesses (students) could not be confirmed, efforts are on,” Nagrale said.
Meanwhile, huge posses of police were witnessed in parts of south Mumbai, road blocks and checking of select vehicles continued overnight in an efforts to detect the missing suspects.
Security has been intensified at Raj Bhavan, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, the BARC, DAE, Mantralaya and surrounding VVIP areas, key railway termini and stations, prominent beaches like Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu, various oil and fertilizer companies’ installations on the eastern coast of Mumbai, the naval harbour, JNPT and MbPT, etc.
The ongoing operations are described by security personnel as the highest ever state of alert after the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror strikes.
Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi will submit a detailed report on the situation in Uran to Fadnavis on Friday.