A message circulating among the Muslim community claimed that “anything could happen” on Friday, the fifteenth day of the holy month of Ramzan, and nobody should venture out; cops bolstered security outside major mosques in the city
A Message circulating on social media platforms proclaiming Friday (July 3) as 'Qayamat Ki Raat' and warning the Muslim community to stay indoors sent the Mumbai police into a tizzy. On Thursday night, police rushed to bolster security outside major mosques in the city and cleared hawkers and vehicles from these areas on Friday.
Taking no chance: Police personnel stand guard at Zaveri Bazaar. Areas near major mosques in the city were made no-parking zones and were cleared of vehicles and hawkers. Pic/Suresh KK
Since Thursday, the message is being circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp proclaiming that Friday, the fifteenth day of the holy month of Ramzan, would be 'Qayamat Ki Raat (Judgement Day)' and 'anything could happen' on this day.
The message also warned that the Muslim community should take care and not venture out of their homes.
After learning of this message, Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria decided to increase security measures around major mosques in the city. A high alert was sounded in crowded areas like Lohar Chawl (CST), Zaveri Bazaar, Juma Masjid (Kalbadevi), J A Allana Road (Colaba), Mohammed Ali Road, Yusuf Meher Ali Road (Pydhonie), Minara Masjid (Mohd Ali road), Zakaria Masjid (Pydhonie), Kokani Masjid, parts of Dongri and J J Marg. Cops cleared these crowded areas of hawkers and vehicles and made it a no-parking zone.
The Intelligence Bureau had already sounded a terror alert last week, after the attack on a mosque in Kuwait
“There is a message doing the rounds in the Muslim community about Qayamat Ki Raat. A terror alert has also been sounded. So, we did not want to take any risks and cleared all crowded areas of hawkers and vehicles. We also checked for suspicious objects near mosques. A suicide bomber recently attacked a mosque in Kuwait and killed 27 people,” said a senior police officer, who did not wish to be identified.
Beginning Thursday night, and throughout the day on Friday, police checked nearby lodges and boarding houses for any signs of sabotage.
Police cited past terror attacks in July — be it the 13/7 blasts in 2011 that killed 26 people in three explosions at Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar, or the 11/7 train bombings in 2006 which killed more than 200 people — as a reason for taking these steps.
“In the past, blasts have been seen in the month of July. Our commissioner Rakesh Maria had investigated the cases, so he has immediately put an alert and asked us to be vigilant,” said a police officer.