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Mock security drill at RBI HQ sends onlookers in a tizzy

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 11, 2019  | 23:33 IST

Mumbai, Apr 11 (PTI) Scenes of commandos in a chopper slithering down a rope and 'gunmen' lobbing 'grenades' while storming the Reserve Bank headquarters in south Mumbai sent onlookers into a tizzy Thursday. It was a mock security drill during which an attack on the lines of 26/11 Mumbai terror strike was simulated, officials said. A little past 11 am, an Air Force helicopter started hovering over the building. It appeared to be too close for comfort, said an eye-witness. As commandos rappelled down onto the terrace of the 25-floor building from the chopper, onlookers shot videos on their mobile phones. Sources in the RBI and security establishment clarified later that the exercise was simulation of a hostage situation. The commandos went down to a floor in the building where the 'hostages' were kept and 'rescued' them, said an official. In the evening, the Shahid Bhagat Singh Road outside the RBI tower, an arterial road connecting commercial districts in south Mumbai with suburbs to the north, was cordoned off for another exercise. This was a land-based mock-drill, where 'gunmen' tried to enter the bank headquarters. There was smoke around the RBI's main gate, said an onlooker. However, it was smoke without fire. A senior police official explained that fake grenades used by the 'gunmen' trying to enter the high-security building caused the smoke. It was a routine mock drill, and there was no specific alert about any threat to the RBI headquarters, he added. A mock drill involving helicopters had never been witnessed in Mumbai before, though the city is home to hundreds of high-rises. However, during the November 2008 terror attack, commandos of the elite National Security Guard did descend from a chopper onto the terrace of Chhabad House to neutralise terrorists who had taken over the building in a congested south Mumbai locality. PTI DC AA KRK IND IND

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