The Western Naval Command issued a high alert along the Mumbai coast after four school children on Thursday spotted suspicious men dressed in military uniform carrying arms.
According to reports, the children informed their school that they had spotted 4 men carrying guns, their faces covered, near Uran, an ammunition dump of the Indian Navy. The school informed the police.
“Students said they saw 4 men at around 11 am, dressed in military uniform, talking amongst themselves in a foreign language,” said Navy sources.
“The students spotted them opposite the Naval base and they heard the men say 'ONGC' and 'school' repeatedly,” added Navy sources.
According to Indian Navy Chief PRO Capt D K Sharma, the search operation is going on along with Maharashtra police after the matter came to light. The police and Maharashtra's anti-terror squad have also been alerted.
The Western Naval Command (WNC) issued "the highest state of alert" along the Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad coasts after suspicious movement of a group was reported in Uran.
According to initial information received by the authorities, four school students spotted a group of people dressed in uniform similar to that of Indian Army near Uran and Karanja area. The DGP office immediately issued alerts to all police stations along the coast.
Security has been beefed up at sensitive locations along the coast, including the Gateway of India, Raj Bhawan, Bombay High (rig), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and other major establishments near the sea.
The Maharashtra police has also issued an alert following he information that some suspects were moving around near Uran, Director General of Police Satish Mathur said.
All the coastal police stations in the state have been put on alert and police teams are working in coordination with the Navy in search operations, he said. Mathur, however, was quick to point out that no suspect has been traced so far.
Notably, the coastline is guarded by a three-tier network which starts with the local police (with its coastal police stations) closest to the land, followed by the Union Home Ministry-led Coast Guard while the Indian Navy patrols the high seas.
India has been on alert since the terror attack on Army base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri on Sunday, in which 18 soldiers were killed.