How threat to Israel embassy magnified from ‘mischief’ to grave alarm

NEW DELHI: On Friday, the Delhi Police issued a statement that said a blast at the Israel Embassy was a ‘mischievous attempt to create sensation’. However within 24 hours, the Special Cell was busy writing to the Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) asking for details of all Iranians, including those who were visiting the national capital.
High alert was sounded in the country with heightened security at embassy areas, airports and markets.
A letter found at the site mentioned the explosion was just a “trailer” and went ahead with mentions about Iran’s slain General Qasem Soleimani and top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as “martyrs” — suggesting the blast that looked like a minor explosion might be a bigger security threat India could be dealing with.
Within hours, Ambassador of Israel to India Ron Malka issued a statement expressing concern.
“The incident is under investigation by the authorities in India who are in contact with the relevant Israeli authorities. Authorities from both sides are cooperating in the investigation. We will continue to update as there are developments,” Malka said.
Sources said that the forensic team has got evidence of the usage of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) for the blast. A half burnt pink scarf was also found.
Delhi Police Special Cell has obtained a CCTV footage showing a car dropping off two persons who walked towards the spot near the Israel Embassy where a minor explosion took place late Friday. The driver of the vehicle has been traced and sketches of the two people are being prepared. A probe has been initiated to ascertain their involvement in the blast.
A team of investigators from Israel could arrive in New Delhi to assist Indian agencies in the probe over the blast in which some cars were damaged in the high-security zone of Lutyens’ Delhi.
The Delhi Police has roped in its best officers having expertise in blast cases after a case was registered. Besides the Special Cell, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Intelligence Bureau are working in close coordination to gather inputs.
The police has intensified security at various strategic markets and malls and issued alerts asking the citizens not to touch unclaimed objects. Banners in this regard has come up in several areas.
Israeli diplomats were attacked in 2012 on February 13, when a bomb exploded in a car in New Delhi.

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