The Mumbai police conducted a thorough security check and have confirmed the call to be a hoax.
The call received by the Mumbai police warning about an attack on Mumbai airport and Taj Mahal hotel turned out to be hoax. Security was beefed up in these establishments after receiving the call. According to security personnel, the call that came around 8:30pm was made by a person who identified himself as Vishesh Kumar. Kumar informed the control room at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport he had overheard a few people discussing a terror plot. He heard that 16 vehicles loaded with explosives would be used to carry out the terror attack at domestic terminal, international terminal and the Taj Hotels between 9 am and 10 am.
High alert was announced at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport as well as the Taj Hotel after airport authorities received a call shortly before midnight on Monday, informing that the two locations could face an attack by a group of four to five suicide bombers. Security at both the domestic and international terminals of CSIA was increased. Bomb threat assessment committee of CSIA has termed the call as ‘specific threat’ and bomb squad was deployed after the call and a massive search-cum-screening exercise was taken up.
A head constable said on the condition of anonymity, “The festival season has arrived and hence security was beefed up in the city. Our leaves too have been cancelled and now we have to work additional hours. The high alert announced at the city airport and Taj Mahal hotel has created further problems for us.”
“There is a standard operating procedure after such calls, and we have completed security checks and found that there is no evidence to suggest an imminent attack,” said a senior Mumbai police official.
The Taj Hotel, which faced a terror attack in 2008, also issued a statement. “The Mumbai police conducted a thorough security check and have confirmed the call to be a hoax. We continue to be highly vigilant at all times to ensure safety and security of our guests,” the Taj’s spokesperson said.
“There was intensive patrolling at the airport after the terror threat received by the police. The common has to face huge inconvenience as he is frisked by security officials” said Sanket Deshmukh an Andheri resident.