Mumbai: A thick security blanket has been put over the city along with a ban on use of para-gliding and remote control micro light aircraft, for the Independence Day celebrations here tomorrow to maintain a hawk-eyed vigil to pre-empt any possible terror strike, police said Wednesday.
Police have stepped up vigil at important places, particularly in and around the Maharashtra Secretariat in south Mumbai, and intensified patrolling on streets in the wake of intelligence inputs that terrorists might strike.
According to police, reports have been received that terrorists or anti-social elements may attack the Secretariat through paragliders and remote control micro light aircraft during the Independence Day.
Also, there is likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquillity, threat to human life and damage to public property.
A released issued by Mumbai Police today states, "In view of the threats and to protect the human life and damage to public property, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mumbai and Executive Magistrate of Greater Mumbai has issued an order under section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, preventing paragliders, remote control micro light aircraft activities in south Mumbai from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm on August 15."
The south Mumbai jurisdiction includes areas under limits of Marine Drive police station, D B Marg Police station, Cuff Parade Police station, Colaba Police station and Azad Maidan police station. Any person contravening this order shall be punishable under section 188 of the IPC, the release mentioned.
State Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, ministers, VIPs, officers from defence forces and people will gather at the Maharashtra Secretariat `Mantralaya` for the Independence Day celebrations.
Paragliders were first associated with terror attacks in January 2010, when Indian intelligence agencies had received an input that Lashkar-e-Taiba had bought 50 paragliders in Europe with the intention of using them in suicide bombing missions.
On the eve of the Independence Day, vehicles are being checked thoroughly at all entry points - Mulund, Dahisar, Chembur - in the city, police said.
Several anti-social elements have also been detained to ensure there is no law and order problem, police added.
Police are also keeping a strict vigil at local railway stations, shopping malls, theatres, Gateway of India, hotels Taj Mahal and Oberoi, Mantralaya and the Bombay High Court.
Besides, 40,000 personnel of Mumbai Police, contingents of Quick Response Teams, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and additional forces of the state Reserve Police Force are also on duty.