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After Blast Near Israel Embassy, Focus On Security Cover

NDTV Explains: After Blast Near Israel Embassy, Focus On Security Cover

Israel Embassy Blast: The site of the blast is not covered by CCTV cameras

New Delhi:

The Tuesday evening blast near the Israel embassy in Delhi – being investigated by anti-terror agency NIA – has refocused attention on the security blanket over the city’s Chanakyapuri neighbourhood, which is home to dozens of embassies, including those of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

From a security perspective, the entire area is labelled as “vulnerable” and is monitored by a network of CCTV cameras. Delhi Police, in fact, is scanning the feed from over 100 of these set up in and around the Israel embassy to track down two potential suspects, sources told NDTV.

Security Cover For Chanakyapuri 

Chanakyapuri is part of the New Delhi district. It was created in the 1950s, and named after Chanakya, the philosopher, military strategist and advisor to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. The iconic Shanti Path, or Road of Peace, runs through its centre. Spread over six square km, it contains the famous Nehru Park and schools run by diplomatic missions, including The British School and the American Embassy School.

As part of the security cover – enforced by a separate department of Delhi Police, called Diplomatic Cell – parking of vehicles (private or otherwise) is banned, as is photography. 

The Diplomatic Cell is headed by an ACP-rank, or Assistant Commissioner of Police, officer.

In addition, police QRT, or quick response teams, and vans patrol the area around the clock.

Security for the city’s diplomatic enclave is also monitored by Delhi Police’s Special, the Intelligence Bureau, and other law enforcement agencies.

Security within the Israel embassy is handled by personnel from that nation.

Israel Embassy Blast: What We Know So Far

At 5.45 pm on Tuesday, Delhi Police received a call from somewhere on Prithviraj Road, which is about a kilometre away from the embassy. The caller red-flagged an explosion and said s/he saw smoke arising from the blast. Local police teams were on the spot in minutes.

Minutes after that Delhi Police’s Special Cell and the NIA arrived, and forensic experts were also summoned. The entire area was searched till 8 pm but nothing was found, save a letter.

READ | Delhi Police Finds Letter For Israel Envoy After “Blast” Near Embassy

Police sources told NDTV the letter was in English and that it was typed, not handwritten, and contained threatening language that included references to “jihad” on Israel.

There was also mention of an organisation called Sir Allah Resistance, and the phrase “Allah hu Akbar” is also mentioned, sources told NDTV. No other suspicious items were found.

READ | Anti-Terror Agency, Bomb Squad Probe Blast Near Israel Embassy In Delhi

Unfortunately, the site of the blast is not covered by CCTV cameras.

This morning the NIA swept the area again, and took samples of grass and leaves from the blast site for forensic analysis. Unconfirmed reports say two suspects are being tracked.

Earlier Attacks On Israel Embassy

Two years ago a “low-intensity” IED (improvised explosive device) was detonated near the embassy.

There were no injuries but the windscreens of three cars were shattered. 

READ | Minor Blast Near Israel Embassy Sparks Scare In Delhi’s VIP Zone

The blast took place 1.4 kilometres from Vijay Chowk, where President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others had gathered, amid heavy security, for the Beating Retreat ceremony that follows the Republic Day parade.

READ | ‘Sticky Bomb’ Blast: Overnight Raids In Delhi, Several Suspects Detained

In 2012, a bomb stuck to car exploded and injured four people, including the wife of an Israeli diplomat. That case has not been solved till date.

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