The flow of false alarms, specifically those regarding sightings in critical installations, are continuing to keep the police on their toes even as they finished their search of Uran town for the third consecutive day. High alert was sounded in the area after schoolchildren spotted suspected terrorists Thursday.
With only a few pockets left to be searched on Saturday, the Navi Mumbai police combed through all of Uran but could not find any sign of the men who the two schoolchildren claimed were wearing black pathani suits, black masks on their faces, and carried backpacks. “We have checked all vital installations and are satisfied there is no-one hiding inside them,” a senior police officer said.
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Earlier in the day, however, there had been rumours of three suspects being apprehended in Panvel, but the police dispelled those quickly. “They were drivers of container trucks and not suspects as reported by the public,” said a senior police official.
The police control room, however, continued to be flooded with phone calls about sightings of the suspects. A Navi Mumbai police officer said they had received a phone call from a watchman posted at the ONGC plant early Saturday morning. “We asked how many men he had seen and what they were wearing. The watchman replied that he had spotted four men wearing black clothes,” the officer said.
When a team of police officers rushed to the plant, they found the watchman to be heavily inebriated. “He couldn’t even stand on his feet without support,” the officer said.
Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale added, “Uran operations are underway and there is no success so far.” Only the local police, and various arms of the state police like Force One, and the Anti-Terrorist Squad are involved in the search at present after the Navy Commandos called off their operations on Friday.
Nakabandis in Navi Mumbai and roads leading in and out of Uran will continue, as will intensive patrolling in the area, police said.