Policemen check vehicles at Vashi toll plaza in Navi Mumbai on Friday. Pic/PTI
Staff at the police control room was on its toes all day yesterday after being flooded with frantic calls from 'alert' citizens having 'information', a day after two schoolchildren reported seeing suspicious men in military uniform in Uran.
City police, ATS, Crime Branch and Quick Response Team personnel were kept busy checking every piece of information passed on about "suspicious elements and movements".
Calling the control room
The Uran sighting resulted in the Indian Navy and state police sounding a high alert all across Maharashtra. And this then led to the spread of a lot unconfirmed information and rumours via online messaging apps.
The city police control room received several phone calls from citizens claiming to have information for the police on "suspicious movements".
"Pertaining to the Uran alert specifically, our control room received five calls yesterday. These calls were made by citizens alerting the police about suspicious movements or persons at four different places in the city, outside Kurla station. In one call, a citizen shared some information on Raigad, which was immediately passed to the agency concerned," Mumbai police spokesperson DCP (Headquarters-2) Ashwini Sanap told mid-day.
"We are not taking any chance and verifying every piece of information received. We urge citizens to not believe in rumours and show the same level of alertness always." A senior police officer told mid-day that the port zone police received information of suspects being holed up in a building named Ashirwad and a shop named White Magic Store in Sewri (East).
'Information was untrue'
Immediately, commandos of the Quick Response Team (QRT) and other combat units swung into action and swept the building and the shop on RAK Marg. However, the information turned out to be untrue. There were a few youths living in a room on rent.
DCP (Zone IV) N Ambika confirmed, "On verifying, the information turned out to be false." There were also rumours about "suspects" moving about at railway stations and in local trains. However, top GRP officers denied it. The Navy spokesperson said that the search in Uran after the sightings is over and sanitisation of naval areas has been undertaken. The Navy is maintaining a close liaison with police and other agencies.