Security around Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba and Taj Lands End in Bandra has been beefed up after the two hotels received bomb threats from an unidentified caller in the wee hours of Tuesday. The caller identified himself as a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative and threatened to blow up the hotels, and both calls were placed from the same Pakistani number, said police sources.
According to the police, the first call was received by a staffer at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel at around 12:30 am, and a call was placed to Taj Lands End minutes later. In both cases, the caller threatened to blow up the hotels.
The hotels immediately alerted the police, following which security around the hotels has been increased. At both the hotels, Quick Response Team (QRT) and counter-terrorism units have been deployed as a precautionary measure, said police. Investigations are on to ascertain the location from which the calls originated.
A statement released by a spokesperson from Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) on Tuesday read, "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. 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 bomb threats to the two hotels, purportedly from the LeT, come in the wake of an attack on the Stock Exchange Building in Karachi on Monday. Four gunmen armed with grenades killed two guards and a policeman before they were killed by security forces.
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel came under heavy attack during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, when it was stormed by LeT gunmen who unleashed carnage at the hotel and laid siege there before being finally neutralised by the National Security Guard.