Updated: February 26, 2021 7:34:12 am
AROUND 20 gelatin sticks were found in a vehicle parked outside Antilla, the south Mumbai home of Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani, on Thursday evening, leading to a security scare and a massive mobilisation by the Mumbai Police to trace the culprits.
The billionaire industrialist has Z-plus security cover, the highest protection the government provides to individuals assessed as facing a threat. He pays for the security.
Gelatin sticks are generally used for blasting purposes in quarries, but have been used for terror attacks in the past. However, they need a detonator to be set off, and none was found in the Scorpio. Apart from the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad is looking into the matter.
What first raised suspicion was the fact that the registration number of the vehicle matched that of a Range Rover in Ambani’s security convoy. Police are trying to track down the owners of the four-wheeler from the chassis number and other details of the car. Police said they had also recovered a letter from the vehicle, refusing any more details.
An officer who is part of the investigation team said they had got a CCTV grab from Wednesday night showing a white vehicle accompanying the Scorpio as it parked near Antilla. The driver of the Scorpio then got into the white SUV and they left, leaving the Scorpio behind. Hunt is now on for the white vehicle.
Mumbai Police spokesperson Chaitanya S said, “A suspicious vehicle was found on Carmichael Road today evening under limits of the Gamdevi Police Station. Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad team and other police teams reached the spot immediately, examined the vehicle and found some explosive material gelatin inside. It was not an assembled explosive device. Further investigation is on.”
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said, “The Mumbai Crime Branch is investigating and there should soon be some clarity.”
Analysts from the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory have collected samples from the vehicle.
Security outside Antilla has been increased.
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