Uran 'terror' scare was nothing but a 12-year-old's `prank`
Multiple security agencies launched their hawk-eyed vigil to apprehend the five-or-six masked persons sighted in Uran village by a student.
Mumbai: The report of the sighting of around five-six suspected terrorists in Uran town by a local school student had last week sent the entire security apparatus in a tizzy.
The student had described the “suspicious men” as masked, wearing Pathani suits and carrying weapons and were heard mentioning `school' and `ONGC'.
Multiple security agencies launched a massive search operation covering land, air, and sea to apprehend the unknown persons sighted in the town near Mumbai, and police later released sketches of two suspects. However, the combing operations by the local authorities had found nothing.
A report in The Times of India suggests that the 'terror' scare was the result of a12-year-old schoolgirl's imagination.
The agencies let off the girl with a warning and a piece of counselling about the consequences of such "pranks", reported the daily.
During the second round of questioning after the search operation failed to trace the suspects, the girl reportedly confessed that she had seen pictures of “Islamic State terrorists wearing black clothes and flashing weapons”, which instigated her to say that she had seen them in Uran. She did all this "for some thrill".
All agencies concerned did not take the tip-off by the student lightly in view of September 18 terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri town.
Security at all critical installations and sensitive locations in Mumbai and adjoining Raigad, Navi Mumbai, was beefed up with police road blocks and vehicle searches, fishermen were on the lookout in the Arabian Sea and aerial-surface combing operations were taken up in different parts.
Schools, colleges, shops and establishments in Uran and surroundings remained shut for two days as security officials searched the area.
A huge deployment of police was witnessed in parts of south Mumbai, road blocks and checking of select vehicles continued overnight in an efforts to detect the missing suspects.
Security was intensified at Raj Bhavan, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, the BARC, DAE, Mantralaya and surrounding VVIP areas, key railway terminus and stations, prominent beaches like Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu, various oil and fertilizer companies' installations on the eastern coast of Mumbai, the naval harbour, JNPT and MbPT, etc.
The two-day operations were described by security personnel as the highest ever state of alert after the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terror strikes.