The Mumbai Police's traffic wing has received several text messages, threatening that a "26/11-like" attack will be undertaken in the city by six people and that preparations to "blow up" the metropolis were ongoing, an official said on Saturday, 20 August.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar said that the phone number that sent the threat messages has a Pakistan-based code.
The police has registered a case against an unknown person under section 506 (2) of the Indian Penal Code (criminal intimidation) at the Worli police.
"Text messages were received on the WhatsApp number of the Mumbai traffic police's helpline operated from its control room located at Worli around 11 pm on Friday," the official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
"In the series of messages, the sender threatened about carrying out a 26/11-like attack," he added.
While one of the messages says that six people who undertake an attack, another says that preparations to blast Mumbai were ongoing, which will bring back memories of 26/11.
In one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in the country, 166 people were killed and more than 300 injured as 10 armed terrorists from Pakistan undertook attacks across the city on 26 November 2008.
'Number That Sent the Message Has Pakistan Code'
Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar said, "Prima facie, the threat messages to blow up Mumbai like 26/11 came from a number that has Pakistan code."
However, he also said that the phone might be from India but could have been hacked by Pakistan.
"We have taken the messages seriously. Necessary measures are being taken to investigate the threat messages. We are alert on coastal security and are coordinating with Coast Guard," he further said, adding that the 'Sagar Kavach' operation had been launched and all agencies were alerted to ensure maritime security.
"The crime branch has started investigations to trace the number. In this context, registration of a case is underway at Worli Police Station in Mumbai. We're sharing all the information we have so far with Maharashtra's Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS)," Phansalkar was reported as saying by ANI.
'Central Agencies Must Probe the Threats': Ajit Pawar
Speaking to the press in Nagpur, Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar said that the threats should be taken seriously and that central agencies should investigate the matter.
"The state government should take this threat seriously and our police are very able in such situations. But central agencies should also look into the matter," he said.
On the other hand, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the state government had asked all agencies to probe the threat messages.
"We have taken the case of the threat message (26/11-like terrorist attack on Mumbai) very seriously. Agencies have been informed of all measures to investigate the threat. Mumbai CP will give further details of the case," Fadnavis, who is also Maharashtra's home minister, said.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)