The Maharashtra Government on Thursday, on the eve of Dahi Handi celebrations and the upcoming Ganapati festival, sounded alert in the state especially in the coastal districts hours after a boat with three AK-47 rifles and live cartridges was found off the Raigad coast in Maharashtra. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who holds the home department, told the state assembly that the boat carrying three AK-47s belongs to an Australian couple who abandoned it after engine trouble. Prima facie, there is no terror angle, but it is unclear why it was carrying arms. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced a probe into the incident.
‘’There is no confirmation of any terror angle as the boat has just drifted in Mumbai. However, the government is not ruling out anything and the team is investigating all aspects. The police have been asked to be on high alert ahead of Dahi Handi and Ganapati festival,’’said Fadnavis, adding that the Raigad police and ATS are conducting a probe and if needed additional security forces will be deployed.
‘’As of now, there has been no terror angle. But investigation is going on. We can't rule out any angle as of now. I am just sharing primary information so there is no panic,’’ he reiterated. He said the state government was in touch with the central agencies which have confirmed this information.
‘’Also we can't say why there was ammunition present on the boat right now. The matter is being investigated,"said Fadnavis. He added that even though the anti terrorism squad has been deployed as a precautionary measure additional security forces will also be deployed.
Former minister Aditi Tatkare, who was elected from the Shrivardhan assembly seat, said that she has requested Maharashtra Chief Minister for a special probe into the incident. She also said that the incident is a major security scare as it comes a day ahead of a big festival.
Several ruling and opposition party leaders recalled the memories of 1993 when the explosive, which was landed off Raigad cost, was for the first time used to produce bombs. The serial bomb blasts that took place on March 12, 1993 were planned by underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim along with Tiger Menon.