Heightened security in Mumbai for Christmas, New Year

Last Updated: Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 00:11

Mumbai: After specific intelligence
inputs that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba may strike here
during Christmas and New Year, a three dimensional security
apparatus has been put in place, particularly around the Taj
Mahal Hotel -- one of the sites of the 26/11 carnage.

Vigil has been heightened to avert any terror threat
emanating from land, air and water, police said.
Roads near the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel will remain
closed for 15 days from tomorrow and the area will be under
complete surveillance in view of the festivities, Additional
Police Commissioner (South) Naval Bajaj said today.

Similar security arrangement was in place near Taj
during the visit of US President Barack Obama, who stayed in
the plush hotel, in early November.

Parking on the roads around Taj has been banned for
the same period, he said, adding that "the cars of guests of
Taj and residents around the hotel would be allowed but only
after thorough checking. The residents would be provided with
security stickers for their cars to avoid inconvenience."

"The terror inputs received in the past few days and
upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations prompted us to
take unprecedented security measures to preempt any terror
strikes," he said.

Colaba area, particularly the places, including the
Gateway of India, where large crowds are expected during the
festivities, would be under complete surveillance from
tomorrow through high resolution CCTVs, Bajaj said.

The roads leading to the Gateway of India too would be
closed for three days from December 29, Bajaj said.
According to police, most of the possible terror
targets are situated in south Mumbai. Security has been
strengthened at vital installations, railway stations, crowded
areas, religious places and embassies.

Barricades would be put up at the Gateway of India to
separate families from single men to avoid eve-teasing, Bajaj
said, adding that five watchtowers would also be installed.

Special Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad would be
deployed near the spot and policemen stationed at the jetties
to frisk persons sailing in boats and check baggage.

The sea-front up to five nautical miles would be
guarded round the clock by police armed with advanced boats
and sophisticated equipment, he said.

However, no decision with regards to parties on boats
on Christmas and New Year celebrations has been taken, he
said.

Police are also co-ordinating with Navy and Coast
Guard officials who would conduct air surveillance, he said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 00:11

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