High alert in Mumbai for two foreign terrorists

Two suspected foreign terrorists have sneaked into Mumbai to cause disruption at crowded places and religious congregations.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 09:43 AM IST

Mumbai: Two suspected foreign terrorists
have sneaked into the metropolis to cause disruption at
crowded places and religious congregations, Mumbai police
warned today, setting off alarm bells on the eve of Eid and
Ganeshotsav festivities.

A high alert has been sounded across the city and
suburbs with the police issuing an advisory to the citizens to
remain vigilant and watch out for the militants whose
nationality it did not disclose.

"We have received information from Central
Intelligence agencies about two suspected terrorists sneaking
into Maharashtra," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told reporters.

Photographs of the two -- a clean-shaven Kalimuddin
Khan alias Rameshwar Pandit (28) and bearded Hafij Khijir Ulla
Sarif (25) sporting a skull cap, were released by Joint
Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy at a hurriedly
called press conference.

A Crime Branch source, however, said that Kalimuddin
was a Pakistani and Sarif was from Bangladesh.

"We would like to issue an advisory...We have
Intelligence inputs that two foreign nationals have entered
the city with intention to cause disruption at crowded and
religious places," Roy said.

"We appeal to the citizens to remain alert and inform
the police if they spot the two," he said, adding the duo had
entered the city only recently.

The police have set up dedicated phone numbers --
22633333 and 22625020 -- to enable the people to pass on
information about the militants and in case of emergency.

Roy declined to share with the media any information
about the terror group the duo belong to citing "operational
reasons" and said several teams have been formed to track them
down.

When asked if "disruption" could mean a terror strike,
Roy said, "We do not want to share anything more than this. We
are taking all precautions to ensure incident-free festival."

Replying to a question about the local support these
foreign militants might have, he said, "We cannot share this
information with you at the moment. Having more eyes and ears
than personnel of Mumbai police together have will be more
useful and so we have asked the people to be alert and
vigilant."

"The IB has said that Lalbaug area could be targeted
by the two terror suspects where Lalbaugcha Raja, the city`s
most popular Ganesh idol, has been installed," a Crime Branch
source said, adding the two might change their appearances to
avoid detection.

Following the inputs, a massive security cover has
been thrown in and around Lalbaug, particularly at Lalbaugcha
Raja Ganesh idol, where over 1,500 policemen have been
deployed round-the-clock.

Besides these, personnel drawn from CRPF, State
Reserve Police Force and Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad
have been stationed at the pandal.

The sniffer dog attached to the bomb squad will
conduct periodic checks at the parking lot, while Quick
Response Team commandos and a Strike Mobile Van have also been
deployed.

With this, the total number of security personnel
stationed at Lalbaugcha Raja (including the mandal`s private
security) will go over 5,000, police sources said.

At least six lakh devotees pay their obeisance to
Lalbaugcha Raja every day during the 11-day-long
festivities.

Sources said security at crowded places like
Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus and other vulnerable
places have been further beefed up.

-PTI