Despite a terror threat looming over the city, millions of Mumbaikars were immersed in triple celebrations Saturday -- Ganeshotsav, Eid and Jain community’s Samvasari.
While Hindus turned up in huge numbers at thousands of big and small marquees for the inaugural ‘aarti’ of the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, Muslims converged in the 200-plus mosques around the city to offer Eid ‘namaaz’
The Shwetambar Jain sect also celebrated the end of the rigorous eight-day fasting period of ‘paryushan’ and wished each other in scores of Jain temples dotting the city.
The intermittent rains lashing large parts of the city and suburbs failed to dampen the festive spirits and millions of Mumbaikars were out on the roads since early morning to celebrate the three festivals.
In view of the three big festivals, Mumbai Police have deployed over 86,000 personnel, besides other paramilitary forces, bomb disposal squads, dog squads, metal detectors, road blocks at strategic locations.
The police and the government are not taking chances especially after the revelation that two suspected terrorists -- both foreign nationals -- have sneaked into Mumbai with intentions to strike during the ongoing festival season.
Joint Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy told reporters Friday that intelligence reports received by the police and state home department said the pair -- said to be a Bangladeshi and a Pakistani -- entered Mumbai sometime ago. They are Kalimuddin Khan Alias Rameshwar Pandit, 28, and Hafiz Sharif, 25.
Roy said the police and the crime branch have set up special teams and have sought the help of the public to nab the pair, whose sketches have also been released.