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Two Terror Suspects Sneak Into Mumbai, High Alert Sounded

Mumbai: Two suspected foreign terrorists have sneaked into the metropolis to cause disruption at crowded places and religious congregations, Mumbai police warned on Friday , setting off alarm bells on the eve of Eid and
PTI September 10, 2010 20:49 IST
PTI
Mumbai: Two suspected foreign terrorists have sneaked into the metropolis to cause disruption at crowded places and religious congregations, Mumbai police warned on Friday , setting off alarm bells on the eve of Eid and Ganeshotsav festivities.

A high alert has been sounded across the city and suburbs with the police issuing an advisory to the citizens to remain vigilant and watch out for the militants whose nationality it did not disclose.

"We have received information from Central Intelligence agencies about two suspected terrorists sneaking into Maharashtra," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told reporters.  Photographs of the two -- a clean-shaven Kalimuddin Khan alias Rameshwar Pandit (28) and bearded Hafij Khijir Ulla Sarif (25) sporting a skull cap, were released by Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy at a hurriedly called press conference.

A Crime Branch source, however, said that Kalimuddin was a Pakistani and Sarif was from Bangladesh.  "We would like to issue an advisory...We have Intelligence inputs that two foreign nationals have entered the city with intention to cause disruption at crowded and religious places," Roy said.

"We appeal to the citizens to remain alert and inform the police if they spot the two," he said, adding the duo had entered the city only recently.  The police have set up dedicated phone numbers -- 22633333 and 22625020 -- to enable the people to pass on information about the militants and in case of emergency.

Roy declined to share with the media any information about the terror group the duo belong to citing "operational reasons" and said several teams have been formed to track them down.

When asked if "disruption" could mean a terror strike, Roy said, "We do not want to share anything more than this. We are taking all precautions to ensure incident-free festival."

Replying to a question about the local support these foreign militants might have, he said, "We cannot share this information with you at the moment. Having more eyes and ears than personnel of Mumbai police together have will be more useful and so we have asked the people to be alert and vigilant."

"The IB has said that Lalbaug area could be targeted by the two terror suspects where Lalbaugcha Raja, the city's most popular Ganesh idol, has been installed," a Crime Branch source said, adding the two might change their appearances to avoid detection.

Following the inputs, a massive security cover has been thrown in and around Lalbaug, particularly at Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh idol, where over 1,500 policemen have been deployed round-the-clock. Besides these, personnel drawn from CRPF, State Reserve Police Force and Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad have been stationed at the pandal.

The sniffer dog attached to the bomb squad will conduct periodic checks at the parking lot, while Quick Response Team commandos and a Strike Mobile Van have also been deployed. With this, the total number of security personnel stationed at Lalbaugcha Raja (including the mandal's private security) will go over 5,000, police sources said.

At least six lakh devotees pay their obeisance to Lalbaugcha Raja every day during the the 11-day-long festivities. Sources said security at crowded places like Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus and other vulnerable places have been further beefed up. PTI