Mumbai police step up security measures around Taj Mahal Palace and Taj Lands End, as terror threat looms large

Two prominent Taj hotels in south Mumbai have received threat calls from Pakistan, with the caller threatening to carry out a terror attack similar to the 26/11 attacks. Security has been heightened at both the hotels following the calls.

The Taj Mahal Palace in Colaba and the Taj Lands End in Bandra received calls on their landline phones. The police said they are in the process of identifying the caller.

Both the hotels are extremely popular with both domestic and international tourists, but are currently closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Police said that the first threat call was made at around 12.30am on Tuesday to the Colaba property that was attended to by a hotel employee. Later, a similar call was made to the Bandra (West) property.

Both the calls were made from a single number, which is being investigated by a team of cyber cell officials, Mumbai Police authorities said.

“We are proud to be a part of the fabric of this nation and the safety of our guests and associates is of paramount importance to us.  We immediately alerted the authorities on receiving these calls and are providing full support and cooperation to the investigating agencies,” Taj Hotels said in a statement.

“Our safety and security teams have ensured that all our protocols and guidelines are being followed towards safeguarding lives and assets. We would like to reassure our guests and associates that all adequate steps are being taken towards the safety of the premises,” the statement said.

The iconic Taj Mahal Palace in Colaba was one of the places in Mumbai targeted during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Ten heavily-armed Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had attacked Taj Mahal Palace hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station and Leopold Cafe, among other landmarks. The three-day siege left at least 174 people dead and over 300 injured. Several policemen and NSG (National Security Guard) commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan were among those who died defending the city in November 2008.

Mumbai Police has intensified its patrolling across the city and also stepped up its vigil at all the vital installations following the threat.