Uran on alert: Sketches of suspects issued; search ops underway

Maharashtra home department has also confirmed that it is probing seizure of an abandoned boat on September 7 near Uran

Uran on alert: Sketches of suspects issued; search ops underway

In response to students' claim that they have seen five to six men carrying heavy arms, security forces have launched massive search and combing operations are underway to locate the suspected men.  The schools and colleges in Uran and their adjoining areas have been shut on Friday.

The police have also released sketch of one of the suspicious men, who were spotted near the naval base in Uran. Navi Mumbai police managed to make sketch of the man with the help of the description provided by the two schoolchildren, according to a report in the TOI.

Maharashtra home department has confirmed that it is probing seizure of an abandoned boat on September 7 near Uran.

The government authorities have also alerted Mumbai and the adjoining areas after the school children separately reported seeing up to half a dozen masked, armed men with backpacks.

The development comes soon after the recent terrorist attack in Uri army camp. National Security Guard (NSG) commandos flew in and joined the Navy's Marcos commandos, Navi Mumbai policemen, Force One commandos and other security personnel in a combing operation.

According to the latest report, no one has been arrested till now. The entire region is highly sensitive in view of the close proximity of the Western Naval Command HQ just across the harbour in Mumbai, the naval harbour, the Mumbai Port Trust, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, several critical installations like BARC and oil terminals, offices of important central and state government in a small radius.

As per the TOI report, a boy who was on his way to GS School at Kumbharwada locality in Uran had spotted a masked man with a fireman around 6.30 am on Thursday. A 16-year-old girl, who was also on her way to the school, spotted five-six masked men in black pathan suits with weapons and backpacks after the first sighting.

The report added that the girl overheard those men taking about "school" and "ONGC" (which has a large base at Uran) and splitting into groups.

After she reported it to her school principal, the information was shared with ONGC officials and the police were alerted. The Marcos commandos spoke to them as well as the police.

"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 said in a statement.

Soon after the Uran police learnt about the suspicious men, Navi Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale arrived with over 500 cops. Security was stepped up at ONGC refinery and the naval base at Mora, and the combing operation began.

Despite carrying out massive combing operation in the Uran and Karanja areas with the help of Navy, Coast Guard, CISF and Quick Response Team, the police are yet to trace the suspects.