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26/11 effect: letters on ‘suspicious’ neighbours flood police

In the nine months since 26/11,the Mumbai police have got nearly 60 letters about “suspicious people who were possibly linked with the attack”.

Written by Mustafa Plumber | Mumbai |
August 10, 2009 3:08:10 am

In the nine months since 26/11,the Mumbai police have got nearly 60 letters about “suspicious people who were possibly linked with the attack”. Sent to the Crime Branch,they speak of “suspicious neighbors” in Colaba,Cuffe Parade,Bhendi Bazaar,Mira Road and even Navi Mumbai and other states.

The police have said there was no local support for the attackers. They said they have investigated all letters and “found nothing worth tracking”.

JCP (Crime) Rakesh Maria said,“We welcome such letters; they show citizens are at a high level of alertness. We have received letters not only from within the state but from outside,too. All of them have been verified. Nothing suspicious has been found.”

Some letters raise serious or genuine concerns but most are misguiding,say officials. “We take all letters seriously but these have also become a way to settle personal enmity,” an official said.

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The Crime Branch checks the antecedents of the named “suspect”,verifies his call records and questions neighbours. Only if required is the person called in for questioning,the official said.

The letters frequently describe what the senders believe to be suspicious movements of their neighbours. For example,five letters have been about a woman in Bhendi Bazaar,each stating that she disappears for long stretches of time,then resurfaces and is often spotted making international calls from local telephone booths.

Another letter,written by a Colaba-based woman,claimed that she had seen the attackers who opened fire at Café Leopold days before the attack.

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