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Thousands of cops out on streets, more on their way

The last few hours have been nerve-racking for Mumbaikars, and indeed people of other parts of Maharashtra. And following some isolated incidents of violence, security personnel have been deployed in large numbers near Thackeray’s Matoshree bungalow at Bandra (East). 

Matoshree
Road closed: As traffic jams were being reported from Bandra since Wednesday night, all roads adjacent to Matoshree have been barricaded. Pic/Bipin Kokate

While about 2,000 policemen are already present here, 5,000 cops and three platoons of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been called in from various districts of the state.

According to additional commissioner of police Niket Kaushik, the department already had a heavy bandobast in the city with an eye on the festive season and the expected visit of president Pranab Mukherjee (now reportedly postponed). More than 1,500 personnel from Mumbai police have been stationed in a one-and-a-half-kilometre area near Matoshree. Two deputy commissioners of police and nine assistant commissioners are handling the state of affairs under the supervision of an additional commissioner of police. Besides, some officers from Special Branch have also been positioned.

Sources said Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is constantly monitoring the law and order situation. He held a high-level meeting with chief secretary (home) of Maharashtra and police officers last night. Leaves of cops have been cancelled for two days — Friday and Saturday. Additional police force has been deployed all over Mumbai.

As traffic jams were being reported from Bandra since Wednesday night, all roads adjacent to Matoshree have been barricaded. Police officials are asking politicians and VVIPs to park their vehicles on Western Express Highway (WEH) and use the shortcut to reach the Thackeray residence.

Cops have also asked owners to close down their shops near Matoshree. “We are constantly updating security measures. Also, vigilance has been beefed up,” added Kaushik. 

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