A panic call by a watchman to control room Monday sent Thane police in a tizzy,spawning a seven-hour operation for armed men. Police,however,only found two abandoned vehiclesm,which they said seem to be unused for a long time. Police are now conducting further investigations and a city-wide combing operation has been launched.
Police said they got call around 3 am. A watchman of a residential building on Ghodbunder Road said he had spotted a Tata Sumo and a Maruti Zen enter a complex of seven dilapidated and unoccupied buildings. He said there were 10 men armed with guns inside the vehicles.
The information was flashed across the Thane police commissionerate and officials of Kapurbawdi police station as well as personnel from the Quick Response Team reached the spot within half-an-hour,followed by senior officials as well as officers from agencies like the Thane Police Crime Branch.
We soon cordoned off the area,while the QRT personnel prepared for a possible gunfight, said DCP Pravin Pawar,Thane. After quick consultation,they decided to go in as soon as day broke,as a gun battle would have been risky in insufficient light.
Till around 5 am,we focused on evacuating buildings close to the abandoned complex and cordoned off the entire area. At sunrise,armed QRT entered the complex, said DCP Balasaheb Patil (Zone V,Thane).
For the next five-and-a-half hours,the QRT searched all the seven buildings in the complex thoroughly,while several squads waited outside.
However,all that they found at the end of the tense and lengthy operation were a Tata Sumo and a Maruti Zen,curiously without any license plates on them.
Patil said the vehicles looked as if they had been unused and seemed to have been abandoned at the complex a long time ago. However,they were being examined to check if they were in working condition. CCTV footage of the area does not show any vehicle entering or leaving the area from Sunday night till the time we reached the spot, he said.
Thane police commissioner K P Raghuvanshi said,Operations are underway at selected spots all over the commissionerate. Nakabandis are also being conducted and suspicious persons or vehicles are being checked.
Police are questioning the watchman and his two colleagues,who were also on duty at the time.