Mumbai (The Hindu): A vacant 14-storey building near Chaar Phata was thoroughly searched and four persons questioned.
After the reported sighting of armed men by some schoolchildren on Thursday, a full-scale search operation was under way in Uran and nearby areas, with two helicopters flying over hilly tracts and the Navy combing the complete coastal belt along the village.
Meanwhile, the Navi Mumbai Police effectively locked down the entire city, erecting barricades and conducting random checks.
As the news spread, schools and colleges sent their students home and commercial establishments, too, started downing shutters.
A vacant 14-storey building near Chaar Phata was thoroughly searched and four persons found inside were allowed to go only after prolonged questioning and a thorough background check, a police officer said.
The schoolchildren, whose identities have been kept under wraps, were taken to the Uran police station, where top Navi Mumbai police officials made prolonged enquiries with them about the men that they saw. The children left with their parents late on Thursday evening.
The Maharashtra Police sent Force One personnel to Navi Mumbai as a precautionary measure, while the National Security Guard (NSG) sent a platoon.
While Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale refused to divulge details of the operations, he said there was no reason for panic.
“The situation is being closely monitored in liaison with the police. No person has been located or apprehended till now,” a Defence spokesperson said.
The Mumbai and Thane police declared a state of general alert, stepped up patrolling and erected checkpoints around vital installations in their respective jurisdictions. The State police are in touch with central intelligence agencies, sharing information and updates round the clock.
Social media was abuzz with rumours, even of a terror attack in Uran, prompting people from all over the country to call their loved ones in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai to check whether they were safe.
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