Probe ordered, police on high alert, man detained
Mumbai: Security was tightened in Mumbai on Saturday after the traffic police control room received a text message threatening a 26/11-like attack. The traffic control department of Mumbai police received messages on its WhatsApp number on Friday night from a number with Pakistan’s country code. Mumbai police commissioner Vivek Phansalkar said that other security agencies have also been informed about it.
The text messages were received on the WhatsApp number of the Mumbai police's traffic helpline, which is operated from the control room located at Worli in central Mumbai around 11 pm on Friday. One of the messages talked about reviving memories of the attacks on November 26, 2008 in which the Pakistan terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out strikes across Mumbai. The message also said that six people will execute the attack.
Another WhastApp message also threatened that there could be an incident like the beheading of a tailor in Udaipur in June this year.
"I can assure all Mumbai residents that the matter is being taken seriously and we will get to the bottom of the case," the police commissioner said.
The threat messages came close on the heels of an abandoned boat that was found near Harihareshwar Beach in Raigad on Thursday.
Deputy chief minister and state home minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "We have taken the case of the threat message very seriously. All concerned agencies have been informed."
According to police, the sender stated in the WhatsApp messages that he is from Pakistan and an attack will be carried out in Mumbai. He also said that there are a few persons in India who are helping him to carry out the attack and shared some mobile numbers.
"Initial investigations have revealed that the message came from a number in Pakistan. We have also received information about some phone numbers in India," Mr Phansalkar said.
Mumbai police’s crime branch and Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad are also investigating the case. According to reports, a man has been detained in connection with the threat messages and is being interrogated by a crime branch team.
Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Opposition leader in the legislative Assembly Ajit Pawar said the messages received by the Mumbai police should be taken seriously and that Central agencies need to look into the matter. He added that the state police department is a very able force in such situations.