Home Minister, Any clue on colour of terrorists who attacked Delhi today?

published on September 19, 2010

Two hurt in firing near Jama Masjid
September 20, 2010
Staff Reporter | New Delhi – Daily Pioneer

Cooker blast in car at spot minutes later

Two motorcycle-borne men fired at a bus carrying foreign tourists outside the historic Jama Masjid here on Sunday morning. It was followed by a crude pressure cooker bomb blast in a car in the same area. Two Taiwanese nationals were injured in the first incident, which created wide-spread panic in the Capital.

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games and the Allahabad HC verdict on the Babri dispute, the banned Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attacks in an e-mail sent to PTI and some other news organisations. A red alert has been sounded across Delhi after the incidents.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Tejender Khanna on Sunday evening banned parking of vehicles outside the Games venues and iconic buildings in the wake of the firing incident. “Parking of vehicles at 470 parking lots outside Games venues, iconic and important buildings and popular market places has been banned,” said Ranjan Mukherjee, OSD to the L-G.

A group of six Taiwanese tourists had visited Jama Masjid in a private tourist bus (DL-1P-C-2229), belonging to a Panchkuian Road operator, and were boarding it when the firing occurred. “Three of them had boarded the bus; the other three were near its entrance. Two men on a black motorbike arrived from the Jama Masjid police station side and the pillion, wearing green, opened fire. He fired 10 rounds from two weapons, including a carbine machine gun. Then they fled towards Chawri Bazaar,” Jama Masjid United Forum president Syed Yahya Bukhari said.

Two of the Taiwanese — Zesewein (27) and Ku Chiang (28) — received gunshots. They were rushed to the LNJP Hospital in their hired bus. A bullet grazed past Zesewein’s head while Ku Chiang, hit in the abdomen, is said to be in a critical condition. The group was to leave for Jaipur on Tuesday and then visit Agra.

Constable Pramod, who was unarmed and manning Gate No 3 alone, tried to chase the attackers. He was joined by a young rickshaw puller, Salim, who even threw a brick at the assailants. “When I saw the bikers firing at the foreigners, I got off my rickshaw and tried to chase them. The pillion rider wanted to shoot me but could not as his magazine fell down,” said Salim. An eyewitness said the bike’s registration number was DL-7S-AJ-0496, but there was no official confirmation.

The cops and a team of investigating officials were busy collecting evidence from the spot when a blue Maruti-800 (DL-6C-B-1042) burst into flames barely 50 metres away. The car was parked in front on an electric transformer outside the Jama Masjid police station. Two fire tenders from nearby fire station reached immediately reached the spot and doused the flame within minutes.

Police sources said the car owner was identified as Bobby Sharma, who had come to the area with his friend Sunil. “We had parked the car in Cycle Market and were at the shootout spot. On the way back, Bobby peeped into the car and saw wire-like suspicious things inside. He had gone to inform the police when the time broke out,” said Sunil.

Using cranes, police officials moved the vehicle into the police compound as evidence. Bomb disposal squads were called in to defuse a possible bomb. A burnt pressure cooker was recovered from the back seat of the car, sources said. The contents have been transferred to a forensics lab. The car and motorcycle owners have been picked up for questioning.

BJP Parliamentary Party chief LK Advani discussed the matter with Home Minister P Chidambaram over the phone. The former Deputy Prime Minister sought to know from the Home Minister the steps being taken to handle the situation. Chidambaram is understood to have told Advani that investigations were on but they were yet to arrive at any “theory” about who could be involved. Chidambaram told Advani that the Union Government was not taking any chances and both Delhi and Mumbai had been put on alert after the attack.

Meanwhile, the Hindi Radio service of the BBC received a mail purportedly from the IM owning the responsibility for the attack. A senior Delhi Police officer said they were not aware of the IM claim. “There were no specific target or specific reasons for the attacks,” Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.

Karnal Singh, Jt CP (Northern Range), said the four cartridges recovered from the firing spot showed that the weapon could be .38 calibre revolver. “We are looking at all angles,” he said. “A red alert has been sounded and we are conducting checks at various points,” he added.

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