Mumbai police has banned any paragliding or use of remote controlled microlight aircraft at Shivaji Park this Republic Day, keeping in mind the possibility of terrorists or anti-social elements using such methods to launch an attack here.
In an order issued on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Keshav Jadhav said as several VIPs visit the ground on January 26 to attend the Republic Day parade by Armed Forces, it was important to ensure their security.
Describing the basis of the ban, Patil has stated in the order, “Whereas reports have been received that due to the situation prevailing in areas under the control of Commissioner of Police, Brihanmumbai, it is apprehended that on Republic Day at Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai, that terrorist/anti-social elements may attack through paragliders, remote control microlight aircraft and there is every likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquility and also there is grave danger to human life, health and safety and injury to public property on that account.”
Police, however, did not confirm that the move was a result of a specific intelligence alert about paragliders or remote controlled aircraft.
While Patil called the move a “precautionary measure”, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sadanand Date said, “There has been some discussion over the past few years that paragliders could be used by terrorists for a strike. Hence, we thought it prudent that before Republic Day, we should issue a ban on paragliding at specific places for a specific time period. However, there is no specific input of a terror attack.”
In January 2010, Indian intelligence agencies had received an input, according to which Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had bought 50 paragliders in Europe with the intention of using them for suicide bombing missions.