Mumbai: A day after a high alert was sounded in Mumbai coast and adjoining areas after a group of men was spotted moving suspiciously near a Naval base at Uran near here, the multi-agency search for them continued for the second day on Friday, although the Navy called off its operation.
Police said none of the men could be traced so far even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was in Pune, said the information about suspicious armed people being spotted in Uran was yet to be corroborated.
However, police said that based on the description given by some school children, who spotted the armed suspects yesterday, their sketches were issued late last night.
Talking to PTI, Satish Mathur, Director General of Police, said, "Search operations by police is still on in Uran area. But, so far, nothing significant has been come across."
He said police had also submitted a confidential report on the search operations to the government.
A high-level meeting of Police officials and National Security Guard (NSG) unit commanders was also held at Uran in the morning, where schools and colleges have been shut today.
The Western Naval Command (WNC) of Navy, which called of the search operation, in an official statement here said, "As far as Indian Navy is concerned, operations based on yesterday's sightings of suspected terrorists are concerned are over. Sanitisation of naval areas has been undertaken. Navy is maintaining close liaison with local police/other agencies for further updates or developments."
"However, as the state of alertness is concerned, Indian Navy maintains a high state of alert and tight vigil at all times in consonance with the prevailing circumstances," it added.
The WNC had issued "the highest state of alert" along the Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad coasts after suspicious movement of the men yesterday morning. The Navy had pressed its choppers for surveillance and heightened patrolling in the sea by its vessels and high-speed boats.
Fadnavis, who was in Pune to take a review of various government schemes, said, "I appeal to people not to get panicked as the information received from the girl, who had informed about the suspicious armed people spotted in Uran, has not been corroborated. However, all the agencies--ATS, NSG, Coastal police, Navy and local police are working together and combing operations are going on."
He also appealed to the electronic media not to televise sensitive establishments in and around Uran for security reasons.
Minister of State (Home) Deepak Kesarkar, however, said information about suspicious men seem to be prima facie true. "Security forces are working on two fronts. The suspects are being identified and combing exercise in the area is also vigorously on," Kesarkar told reporters here.