Maharashtra Budget Session: Owing to security threat, short session may get shorter

Mumbai: In the wake of the ongoing tension on the border, Mumbai Police on Thursday recommended the curtailing of the state legislature’s ongoing budget session, as they are under pressure because of the presence of VVIPs in Mumbai and at Vidhan Bhavan. The Mumbai police fears these VVIPs could become targets.

In the wake of this information, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called a meeting of all party leaders in the assembly on Wednesday evening after both Houses were adjourned. Mumbai police commissioner Subodh Jaiswal and the director general of police, Datta Padsalgikar, too attended the meeting. Various aspects of the renewed threat perception in Mumbai and Maharashtra were discussed at the meeting, after which Fadnavis proposed the curtailment of the already short session.

Though no decision was made at the meeting, the session is likely to end after the Houses approve the vote-on-account for the first four months of the next fiscal year, sources said. Assembly sessions lead to heavy concentration of VVIPs in the city. This in turn adds to the pressure on the already overstrained security forces.

Hence, security advice to the government was to keep the session at the minimum, sources said. Meanwhile, minister of state for home Deepak Kesarkar said there was no need for panic, though the security across the city and the state had been heightened. ‘‘Mumbai is always on alert. It has been moved on high alert mode,’’ he said. Meanwhile, unit commanders of all security agencies across the state were asked on Wednesday to be on high alert.

Citizens have been asked to be on the lookout and police stations were asked to be actively in touch with their informers. The coastlines too are being monitored closely and Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Nagpur too are on high alert. Mumbai schools have issued guidelines for parents and students, asking them to follow certain rules, while crowded areas like hotels, beaches, markets and railway stations are under strict vigil, police sources have said.

Security was tightened at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), where armed police and dog squads have been deployed in the area of the cargo complex, major hotels in its vicinity, apart from the airport terminal.

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