MUMBAI: An abandoned SUV with 20 explosive gelatin sticks and a threatening note was found in south Mumbai near industrialist
’s residence on Thursday afternoon, raising security concerns around one of India’s most prominent business barons.
said the abandoned vehicle, a green Scorpio, found on Carmichael Road close to the Ambani residence, Antilia, had the same number plate as a Range Rover in the industrialist’s security detail.
The SUV was found parked outside Shikhar Kunj building, which is barely a few hundred metres from Antilia. It is learnt that Ambani’s security staff called the police around 2.30 pm though CCTV images show the vehicle was driven to the spot and parked there since 1.30 am.
After a large posse of policemen arrived, a section of Carmichael Road was off limits till around 6 pm. Security was beefed up outside the Ambani residence following the discovery of the gelatin sticks by the squad. State home minister
said Mumbai crime branch will investigate the case. “The facts will be brought out soon,” he said.
The handwritten note addressed to Mukesh Ambani and his wife Neeta, which was left behind in the vehicle, said the explosives had not been assembled but next time they would be. Police said the coarse language used in the letter suggested the writer was semi-literate or pretending to be so.
Mumbai police spokesperson, deputy police commissioner Chaitanya S, said the “suspicious vehicle” was found under the jurisdiction of
Gamdevi Police Station
. “Police were alerted. The bomb detection and disposal squad team and other police teams reached the spot immediately, examined the vehicle and found some explosive gelatin inside. It is not an assembled explosive device. Further investigation is on,” he said.
Police said that they have towed away the vehicle for investigation. “A few more number plates were also found from the vehicle and we are verifying it,” said an officer.
Police said from the CCTV footage, it appeared the vehicle was parked at the spot early Thursday. Proprietor of a grocery named Vijay Stores,
, outside whose shop the SUV was parked, told TOI that his CCTV showed the vehicle arriving around 1 am on Thursday. “The driver did not come out of the vehicle till around 3 am,’’ he said. Police are scanning his shop’s CTV footage to trace the person who parked the vehicle and left. “It appears to be a hoax, and somebody has played a serious prank. We will trace and arrest them soon,” said an official. The shopkeeper, Rajesh Singh, told TOI that when the cops broke open the car, they found several number plates inside.
Till late evening, several police vans, commandos and dog squads were stationed outside Ambani's residence. Investigators are also checking CCTV cameras at various locations to trace the person who parked the car. Dozens of personnel from the Gamdevi police station were deployed on Carmichael Road all day.
What are gelatin sticks:
Gelatin sticks are highly effective as explosives. They are used for quarrying work. The Indian
used gelatin sticks along with ammonium nitrate to carry out blasts in the city.