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Mumbai, Uran on high alert: Suspects’ sketches released, one heard as saying `We will target ONGC`

6Mumbai: The Maharashtra Police on Thursday night issued sketches of suspects spotted moving suspiciously near a naval base at Uran in neighbouring Raigad district.
The information by some local students led to a multi-agency search operation.
Based on the description given by some school children at Uran who spotted the armed suspects, their sketches were issued late last night, police said on Friday.
Meanwhile, National Security Guard and Navi Mumbai Police today questioned the girl who claimed to have seen the suspected gunmen.
Reports say that the girl has told the officials that she saw four-five men dressed in Pathani suits and a few of them were wearing masks. “They (suspected gunmen) were talking that we will target ONGC and split into two groups,” added the girl.
The schools and colleges in Uran and adjoining areas have been shut today.
“As per the reports, five to six persons were sighted in Pathani suits and appeared to be carrying weapons and backpacks,” Naval spokesman Cdr Rahul Sinha had earlier said.
Some reports said they were in military uniform.
The alert, which comes four days after the Uri attack which left 18 soldiers dead, has led to elite forces like National Security Guard (NSG), state police’s specialised commandos Force One, Anti-Terrorist Squad, Maharashtra Police, Navi Mumbai police, Mumbai police, and other agencies being roped in for the search and security.
Despite carrying out a massive combing operation in Uran and Karanja areas, police are yet to trace the suspects.
Navi Mumbai Commissioner of Police monitored the situation throughout the night along with other top officials.
A strict vigil by police and other security agencies is being maintained in the area.
A high alert was yesterday sounded along the Mumbai coast and adjoining areas after a group of men were spotted moving suspiciously near a naval base at Uran in Raigad, leading to search operations by multiple agencies.
The alert came four days after the Uri attack which left 18 soldiers dead.
The Navy pressed its choppers for surveillance and heightened patrolling in the sea by its vessels and high-speed boats.
Some children from Uran Education Society’s school first spotted the suspects, and their teacher informed the police, the police said.
Subsequently, the Western Naval Command issued a “highest state of alert” along the Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad coasts where several sensitive establishments and assets are located.
A similar high alert was sounded in Mumbai with armed police taking positions at various points in south Mumbai, including near the Gateway of India and Girgaum Chowpatty. All coastal police stations from Palghar to Goa have been alerted to keep a lookout for any suspicious activities.
Western India’s biggest naval base, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, fertiliser plants, refineries, power plants and the country’s largest container port, JNPT are located in close vicinity of Uran.
The fishing town of Uran is located across the eastern waterfront of the financial capital. The base located close to the town also houses units of MARCOS, the Navy’s elite strike force.
The development brought back memories of November 26, 2008, when a group of 10 Pakistani terrorists had sneaked into Mumbai through the Arabian Sea at Colaba and then created mayhem for 60 hours.
Much earlier, the sea route was taken for landing large quantities of arms and ammunition at various points on the Maharashtra coast which were used for carrying out the serial bomb attacks in Mumbai on March 12, 1993.

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