Security at two Taj hotels in Mumbai stepped up after threat

(Eds: adding quotes of police, ICHL) Mumbai, Jun 30 (PTI) Security was tightened around The Taj Mahal Palace and Taj Lands End hotels in Mumbai after an anonymous caller who claimed to be a member of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba threatened to carry out 26/11-like attacks, the police said on Tuesday.

The two hotels, run by the Tata group-promoted Indian Hotel Company Limited (IHCL) are closed for commercial business at present due to the COVID-19 pandemic and serve only select patrons.

There were separate threat calls to The Taj Mahal Palace in Colaba and Taj Lands End in suburban Bandra from a Pakistani number late Monday night, said a senior police official.

The caller, who threatened to attack the hotels, claimed that he was calling from Karachi and a member of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, he said.

'We are trying to ascertain from where these calls were made,' the official told PTI.

The iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Colaba which overlooks the Gateway of India was among the targets of Pakistani terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

The cyber cell is also probing the calls and so far no case has been registered, the police official said.

But the security around the two hotels has been stepped up, he added.

Entry has been restricted on the roads leading to the hotels, he said.

City police were already on high alert following a terror attack on Karachi stock exchange on Monday and security outside hotels and vital installations has been increased.

'Police are on alert and adequate number of police personnel including Quick Response Teams have been deployed in the area (around the two Taj hotels),' the official said.

'We immediately alerted the authorities on receiving these calls and are providing full support and cooperation to the investigating agencies. Our safety and security teams have ensured that all our protocols and guidelines are being followed towards safeguarding lives and assets,' said an ICHL spokesperson. PTI DC AA VT KRK KRK