Delhi car bomb: India refuses to blame Iran; bike found

Last Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 00:01

New Delhi: Refusing to pinpoint Iran for the Israeli car bomb blast, India on Wednesday said it has no evidence of any specific individual, entity, organisation or country’s involvement in the attack which left an Israeli diplomat critically injured.

"As of today, we have no evidence to find any individual, entity, organisation and country being involved in this incident (car blast)," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said.

He was asked whether there was any information with the government to show Iran`s involvement in the blast, as was being claimed by Israel, and if that would change the dynamics of India-Iran ties.

On its part, Iran refused to "accept" or "deny" its role in the bomb attack but questioned the basis of Israel`s allegations, saying it should be left to India to verify the real position.

"We are not accepting or denying this. I don`t know how can we assume within short moment who has done this," Iranian Ambassador to India Mehdi Nabizadeh told reporters.

"It (incident) has happened in India. If Indian security said something like that (then) we have to verify.... This is false and they (Israel) always keep feeding such a thing," the ambassador said.

Asked about India`s reaction to the allegations, Nabizadeh hoped New Delhi will come out with a "final reaction" after verifying the case.

Meanwhile, official sources also refused to speculate the basis of the Israeli allegation that Tehran was responsible for the terror blast.

Emphasising that India`s ties with Iran whether on energy front or overall trade sector were driven by its own national interest, the sources said "certain objective realities in our economic situation will always be taken into account and there are some international measures which will also have impact on the country".

However, the sources were also quick to point out that there were various options available with India to carry on with its oil import from Iran apart from engaging with other countries for the same.

No headway in probe

Meanwhile, a red motorcycle was found abandoned in South Delhi on Wednesday as investigators struggled to make a breakthrough in the Monday`s bomb attack.

The motorcycle, bearing the same colour as the one used to stick the magnetic bomb on the Israeli diplomat`s Toyota Innova, was lying abandoned near a park in Lado Sarai.

Investigations revealed that the motorcycle had been sold three times and the last owner was traced to Gurgaon and is being questioned to ascertain whether he had links with the attack, police said.

Another red motorcycle was found without any claimant in the busy Connaught Place in New Delhi district. Police later said it was a stolen vehicle.

Investigators were also instructed to lift finger prints from abandoned red colour motorcycles in the capital.

Potassium chlorate, nitrate used in bomb

Preliminary forensic examination of the blast material showed traces of potassium chlorate and nitrate and the explosives were estimated to weigh around 250-300 grams.

Israeli Ambassador Alon Usphiz met External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and discussed the incident, including the progress in the investigations so far.

The Israeli mission here has sought more protection and the government assured them all possible assistance and security, official sources said.

Usphiz also informed Krishna that his country wants to send a team including forensic experts and others, to which the Minister said India would welcome them.

An Israeli mission car carrying Administrative Attache Tal Yehoshua-Koren (40), wife of an Israeli Defence Attache, was injured on February 13 when terrorists stuck a magnetic bomb to her car in high-security Aurangzeb road, barely 500 metres from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s residence. Her driver and two others also suffered injuries.

Security agencies hare have approached authorities in Thailand and Georgia for inputs on similar strikes in those countries in the past few days.

Official sources said the Indian agencies have contacted their counterparts in the two countries through diplomatic channels to get information related to the strikes in Tbilisi on Monday and Bangkok yesterday.

The three terror attacks were carried out in short intervals and Israel has blamed Iranian forces for these. Investigators are looking for clues from a similar attack on an Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and his bodyguard in Tehran on January 12. Both had died in the attack.

A nine-member Israeli team inspected the cars which were damaged in the sticky bomb explosion. The team visited the Special Cell office in south Delhi`s Lodhi Colony this afternoon and examined the damaged vehicles.

CCTV footages scanned so far have not provided any help in tracking down the vehicle and the person riding it.

Police have also started the process of collecting details of Iranians living in the capital.

Meanwhile, the NSG has alerted all its commando squads guarding VVIPs and will soon bring out new security drills following Monday`s attack.

"We have already alerted our people (guarding VVIPs) that this is what has most likely happened and immediate action we have taken...but this is not enough. We have to really study it (the February 13 incident here) and make a standard operating procedure so that everybody acts in a uniform way (during such an attack)," NSG Director General R K Medhekar said in Manesar.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 11:12

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