High alert was issued on Thursday at Naval ammunition depot INS Abhimanyu, opposite Mumbai harbour, after two school kids said they saw some men carrying weapons.
The Indian Navy was put on alert along with Mumbai anti-terror squad and other security agencies.
One of the children talked about one man but the other reported having seen five men around 7 am, their faces covered and “speaking a different language”, near an ammunition storage facility of the naval base in Uran.
“ONGC” and “school” were two words that the children overheard the men saying, sources say. The men were in “Pathan suits” and carried backpacks, the children reportedly said. The school informed the police.
The Navy, sources say, is treating the information very seriously and has launched efforts to secure all bases. “We cannot overlook anything at this point,” a senior officer said. All air force units in Mumbai are also on high alert.
The police, Maharashtra’s anti-terror squad or ATS and the navy are all involved in a massive multi-agency search operation.
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.