- Schoolchildren say they saw men dressed in black, carrying arms
- The five men were seen near Navy ammunition dump in Uran
- Navy alerted after students reported the men to school authorities
After a day of high alert in Maharashtra following two school students reporting that they saw masked armed men in Uran near Mumbai, the elite anti-terror commando force National Security Guards have been deployed in the coastal town.
One of the students claimed to have spotted one man. The other reported having seen five men dressed in black around 7 am on Thursday, carrying back-packs and "speaking a different language", near an ammunition storage facility of the naval base in Uran. The second student also claimed to have overheard the men saying "ONGC" and "school".
The men were in "Pathan suits", the students reportedly told their school principal. The school informed the police. The school has declared a holiday on Friday due to security reasons.
The deployment of the NSG came on the heels of a massive multi-agency search operation which involved the police, Maharashtra's anti-terror squad or ATS and the Navy. The Navy, sources said, was treating the information very seriously as the students are "old enough".
The NSG have been deployed in three key spots in Mumbai. Another team has been kept on standby in Delhi. All air force units in Mumbai have been put on high alert.
Uran is about 50 km from Mumbai, where 166 people were killed in November 2008 when landmarks in the city were attacked by 10 terrorists who came by sea. It is close to important locations like the Jawaharlal Nehru Port and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
India has also been on guard since the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri on Sunday, in which 18 soldiers were killed. Since the attack, there have been several infiltration attempts which have been stopped by the army.