NIA launches manhunt for 2 suspects in Israel Embassy blast case

New Delhi: After almost five months since a low-intensity explosion took place near the  Israel Embassy in New Delhi, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released CCTV footage of two suspects near the embassy before the blast.

The NIA has launched a manhunt for the two persons and has placed a reward of Rs 10,00,000 for any information in connection with the explosion near the Israeli Embassy on January 29.

The explosion took place not far from Vijay Chowk, where several VVIPS including President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi were in attendance during the ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony. During the explosion earlier this year, windscreens of several cars parked in the vicinity of the Embassy on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road here were found damaged.

Sources confirmed that ammonium nitrate was used for the explosion.

Sources have also said this blast may be a trial of some “bigger conspiracy”.

“The forensic team has got evidence of the usage of ammonium nitrate for the blast which caused a small trench at the site,” sources said, adding that if RDX was used then the impact would have been higher.

Police had also recovered a separate CCTV footage, a half-burnt pink scarf and an envelope addressed to Israel Ambassador from the blast site, sources said. The footage revealed that a cab had dropped two persons near the embassy and the Delhi Police Special Cell has contacted the concerned cab driver and enquired about the two persons.

Police also found a camera hidden behind a tree near the blast site. In the footage retrieved from the camera, the timestamp was of the year 1970 but the content is not clear and police are investigating it to ascertain information.

Immediately after the blast, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took to Twitter to say that he spoke to his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi and said that the Indian government has taken the blasts “very seriously” and that “no effort will be spared to find the culprits.”

Investigators later recovered an envelope with text written on it related to the Israel Embassy officials, from the site of the blast near the Israeli Embassy here on Friday, according to sources.

“The envelope has a text related to an Israel embassy official. It is a case for investigating officers to see whether or not it has any link with the case. But, it has been recovered from the blast site,” a senior government official told ANI.

Mumbai and Haridwar Police went on high alert following the explosion.

Israeli ambassador to India, Ron Malka suspected that Friday’s blast outside the Israeli Embassy here could be a terror attack and asserted that there is full cooperation between New Delhi and Tel Aviv to investigate the explosion.

“The investigation is ongoing, gathering all evidence from the scene. There is full collaboration between Indian and Israeli authorities. As of now, our strong assumption is that it is a terror attack that targeted the Israeli Embassy. Fortunately, nobody was hurt,” Malka told ANI.