SECURITY at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Sahar, Andheri (East), the domestic airport at Santacruz (East) and at Colaba’s Taj Mahal Palace was beefed up late Monday night after an unknown caller warned of a terror attack.
Police said a manager at CSIA received the call around 11.30 pm Monday on a landline. The caller claimed to have heard five persons near the Andheri railway station planning to attack the airports and the hotel with explosives-laden vehicles.
While police are not taking any chances, they suspect the call, made through an Internet-calling facility in Uttar Pradesh, could be a hoax. “We have registered an FIR at the Sahar police station. A probe is on. At this stage, we cannot comment on anything,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson Mohan Dahikar.
“The caller said the attackers were planning to target the airports and the hotel with 16 explosives-laden vehicles. The call was declared ‘specific’ by the security committee of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is in charge of security at the Mumbai airport. Security was stepped up and the police too were roped in,” said an airport official, requesting anonymity. A police officer said while security had been stepped up, they suspect it to be a hoax call.
“The probe so far has found the call was made using an internet telephone service in Uttar Pradesh. We are taking the help of the UP police to trace the location from where the call was made,” the officer said.
“In light of the increased threat perception Mumbai faces following the hanging of 1993 blasts convict Yakub Memon and the 2006 train blasts judgment recently delivered, we are on our toes,” he added.
A spokesperson from The Taj Mahal Palace said, “The Mumbai police conducted a thorough security check and confirmed the call to be a hoax. We continue to be highly vigilant at all times to ensure the safety and security of our guests.”