Month after blast near Israel embassy, Delhi Police continues to find culprits | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Month after blast near Israel embassy, Delhi Police continues to find culprits; enhance security

Jan 25, 2024 01:45 AM IST

The embassy is located on the intersection of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road and Prithviraj Road in Lutyens Delhi

Nearly a month after a low-intensity blast near the Israeli embassy, the Delhi Police have made no breakthrough in the case in terms of finding the culprits or ascertaining the motive. But the December 26 incident has led the police to further enhance security in the area -- with barricades, more deployment of security personnel, and upgraded CCTV coverage -- turning the mission into one of the most secure complexes in the Capital.

Security personnel at the site of the blast. (ANI)
Security personnel at the site of the blast. (ANI)

The embassy is located at the intersection of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road and Prithviraj Road in Lutyens Delhi. According to police, the low-intensity explosive went off outside a bungalow on Prithviraj Road, close to the embassy -- prompting Israel to issue a safety advisory for its citizens in Delhi. A note was also found at the spot, using foul language while referring to the war against the Hamas and Israel’s military action in Gaza.

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A similar, but relatively higher intensity, blast took place near the embassy on January 29, 2021. That case is still unsolved. The fresh incident is being investigated by the Delhi Police special cell.

Read Here: ‘Blast’ near Israel embassy in Delhi, letter to envoy spark panic

“We trust the Delhi police to find the ones responsible for the bomb. And to bring them to justice. They (Delhi Police) have not updated us on their ongoing investigation. The security around our embassy (in New Delhi) has been increased,” said Guy Nir, spokesperson for the embassy.

Enhanced security

After the blast, two layers of iron barricading have been set up at two separate points on APJ Abdul Kalam Road outside the embassy, three officers aware of the security arrangements said, asking not to be named.

In addition, the number of personnel that form a security cordon outside the embassy complex has been increased from seven to an entire platoon of 22 personnel.

Apart from that, a nine-member team from the Delhi Police has been deployed on the pavements outside the embassy. This team of “spotters” , dressed in blue blazers and grey trousers, includes two women. The job of the spotters is to move around the pavements and main road to keep a watch for suspicious movements or activities in the area.

“Two inspectors – one from the local police and another from the security unit – have been tasked with the monitoring of the security apparatus formed in areas covering nearly 500 metres in the vicinity of the embassy. Two assistant commissioners of police (ACPs) have been made the supervisory officers of the 30-plus security personnel deployed on APJ Abdul Kalam Road, Prithviraj Road and the two nearby roundabouts. The ACP of Tughlak Road sub-division is the supervisory officer during the daytime while the ACP on night shift duty in New Delhi district oversees the security arrangements during the night,” one of the officers said.

Read Here | 'Explosion in close proximity': What Israel Embassy said on Delhi ‘blast’

He added that three police control room (PCR) vehicles have been attached to the security apparatus of the Israel embassy. One PCR van remains static outside the consulate, while two patrol the streets around it.

Police presence and patrolling have also been intensified across APJ Abdul Kalam Road, Prithviraj Road, and other roads adjoining the embassy. The blast site outside the Prithviraj Road bungalow is still cordoned off with “do not cross tapes”, and four or five personnel from the Delhi Police and armed paramilitary force remain present there round-the-clock, said a second police officer.

“We have kept the blast site preserved as multiple agencies have been working on the case and their forensic experts visited the place to lift exhibits. They may come again for a forensic examination,” the second officer said.

Blind spots rectified

According to the officers cited above, the December 26 blast occurred at a spot that was not covered by any CCTV cameras. A subsequent survey identified at least 10 blind spots around the embassy that required attention.

The Tughlak Road police station has also sent a request to install high-definition (HD) cameras with advanced facilities — including face recognition and registration number plate reading — to the Delhi Police headquarters.

Israel embassy blast: Delhi Police seeks CCTV footage from Jamia University, says report

“As of now, at least eight HD cameras have been installed by the embassy at and outside their gates. Some cameras have also been installed on APJ Abdul Kalam Road by government agencies. Two personnel have been deputed at the CCTV control room at the police station to watch live feed and alert senior officers if they spot any suspicious activities or any suspects. Some areas in the proximity of the embassy still needed attention as they were not covered by any cameras. The areas were identified and the higher authorities have been requested for immediate installation of cameras,” a third officer said.

No-parking zoneThe Delhi Police have also placed “no-parking” signs at multiple points in a radius of around 100m from the embassy. Vehicles are allowed to halt or park in the area, even if they belong to residents living in nearby bungalows, or their guests. And locals have been instructed to park vehicles only inside their properties.

This has led to mixed reactions from people in the vicinity.

“We understand that security of a foreign country’s consulate and their people are of utmost importance for our government and the security agencies. But doing it at the cost of troubling others is not justified. The embassy’s security personnel keep a watch on every person visiting our premises. They even ask for details of our guests and service providers such as delivery boys, carpenters, electricians and mechanics,” said the security head of a bungalow in the vicinity, asking not to be identified.

Shiv Kumar, the security in-charge of another property in the vicinity, however, appreciated the heightened security arrangements put in place around the embassy. He said that the security teams of the embassy scan the entire pavements along APJ Abdul Kalam Road at least twice a day.

“These security drills also make us feel safe from all sorts of nuisance. The presence of security personnel around our property also minimises the presence of criminals and antisocial elements,” Kumar said.

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    Karn Pratap Singh has been writing on crime, policing, and issues of safety in Delhi for almost a decade. He covers high-intensity spot news, including terror strikes, serial blasts and security threats in the national capital.

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