URAN (MAHARASHTRA): Police have issued sketches of suspects spotted moving suspiciously near a Naval base at Uran in neighbouring Raigad district, even as multi-agency search operations are on to trace them a day after a high alert was sounded along the Mumbai coast and adjoining areas.
Based on the description given by some school children at Uran who spotted the armed suspects, their sketches were issued late last night, police said today. The schools and colleges in Uran and adjoining areas have been shut today.
"As per the reports, five to six persons were sighted in Pathan suits and appeared to be carrying weapons and backpacks," Naval spokesman Cdr Rahul Sinha had earlier said. Some reports said they were in military uniform.
Despite carrying out massive combing operation in Uran and Karanja areas with the help of Navy, Coast Guard, CISF and Quick Response Team, police are yet to trace the suspects. The elite commandos from National Security Guard (NSG) and state police's specialised Force One have also been roped in, police said.
Navi Mumbai Commissioner of Police monitored the situation throughout the night alongwith other top officials. A strict vigil by police and other security agencies is being maintained in the area. A high alert was yesterday sounded along the Mumbai coast and adjoining areas after a group of men were spotted moving suspiciously near a naval base at Uran in Raigad, leading to search operations by multiple agencies.
The alert came four days after the Uri attack which left 18 soldiers dead. The Navy pressed its choppers for surveillance and heightened patrolling in the sea by its vessels and high-speed boats. Some children from Uran Education Society's school first spotted the suspects, and their teacher informed the police, the police said.
Subsequently, the Western Naval Command issued a "highest state of alert" along the Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad coasts where several sensitive establishments and assets are located. Western India's biggest naval base, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, fertiliser plants, refineries, power plants and the country's largest container port, JNPT are located in close vicinity of Uran.
Coastal security has been top priority after the 26/11 attacks, in which multiple locations in Mumbai were targeted by Pakistani terrorists who landed using sea route. The fishing town of Uran is located across the eastern water front of the financial capital. The base located close to the town also houses units of MARCOS, the Navy's elite strike force.