Recent intelligence inputs have warned that the city might be at the receiving end of an air-borne attack, with terrorists swooping from the skies using paragliders, or operating remote controlled micro-light aircraft.
Various terror outfits in Pakistan have been training terrorists in paragliding for this purpose, the inputs warn. Zabihuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who was arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch, has told interrogators that over 100 militants have been trained in paragliding by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Pakistan, to carry out an attack on India.
“We have received several inputs from intelligence agencies confirming that an air-borne attack might be carried out, either with the help of paragliders or remote controlled aircraft. The attacks may target sensitive installments like Mantralaya,” said a city police officer.
Taking the cue, authorities have banned paragliding as well as the use of remote control operated micro light aircraft in areas like Marine Drive, Lamington Road, Cuffe Parade, Colaba and Azad Maidan. If anyone is found violating the order, he or she will be booked under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
The police have also contacted residents of highrises near Mantralaya and in Marine Drive, asking them not to allow anyone to enter their terraces.
“There is an Independence Day function in Mantralaya, which will be attended by several dignitaries like the CM and deputy CM of the state and the fear of a terrorist attack looms large over the city. That is why we have banned paragliding. Various organisations who offer such services have been informed about the ban,” said a senior police officer.
The police are busy organising nakabandis and checks on vehicles entering the city. All leaves that were earlier granted to cops for August 14 will be cancelled, so that they are present in full force on the roads.
The police are also planning to hire a remote controlled aircraft and fit it with CCTV cameras to watch over proceedings during the approaching Ganpati festival.