Updated: February 2, 2021 4:46:57 pm
The Union Home Ministry Tuesday handed over the probe into the blast near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). This comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and conveyed his “strong condemnation of the terror attack”.
“The case has been transferred to NIA which will re-register the FIR of Delhi Police in the matter. The case is of serious nature and may have trans-national links. Since NIA is the premier counter-terror agency with international jurisdiction, the case has been given to it,” a home ministry official said.
A crude bomb went off near the Embassy of Israel on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road in New Delhi on the evening of January 30. The explosion, caused by a low-intensity improvised device, took place on a day the two countries marked the 29th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
On Monday, PM Modi spoke to Netanyahu on telephone and assured that India would “deploy all resources to find the perpetrators”. “Prime Minister conveyed his strong condemnation of the terror attack near the Israeli Embassy… He assured Prime Minister Netanyahu that India accords the highest importance to the safety and security of Israeli diplomats and premises, and would deploy all its resources to find and punish the perpetrators. Both leaders expressed satisfaction about the close coordination between Indian and Israeli security agencies in this context,” a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The NIA will take over the probe from the special cell of Delhi Police. The initial probe has hinted at an ‘Iranian link’.
The IED was packed with ball bearings in a can and dropped in a flower pot across the road from the Israel embassy on APJ Abdul Kalam road. The explosion took place at around 5.05 pm damaging a few vehicles parked near the place.
Hours later, a bomb planted near the Israel Embassy in Paris was also discovered. This has led investigators to begin suspecting if this was an attempt at launching a coordinated attack in many countries against the Israeli establishments.
Similar series of events had taken place during the attack on an Israeli diplomat’s car in Delhi in 2012. On the same day, a bomb had been found under car parked near Israel embassy in Georgia even as an attack took place in Thailand near the Israel embassy. An Iranian group was then suspected to have perpetrated all three attacks.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had spoken to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi and assured him of “fullest protection” to the jewish nation’s diplomats and its mission. Jaishankar had said that India has taken the incident “very seriously” and that no effort will be spared to find the culprits.
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