Monday 17 January 2022
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Delhi could have been attacked by terrorists on R-Day

Nearly a fortnight before the Republic Day, police dug out an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) from an unattended bag at Ghazipur flower market, located close to the border between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, this morning. Officials from Delhi Police’s Special Cell, the NSG’s bomb detection and disposal team, and fire tenders arrived and cordoned off the area within minutes. Then the bomb squad defused the device.

As the national capital prepares to celebrate Republic Day on 26 January, the city’s security apparatus is on high alert.

Officials in the fire department received the report of the suspicious bag, which was found in the flower market, at 10:19 AM. An iron box containing the explosives was concealed in a black backpack.

“We were informed by the Delhi Police about the suspicious object at around 11 am. The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been destroyed by using a controlled explosion technique. The samples of the IED have been collected and the explosive will be ascertained and informed to the Delhi Police,” said an NSG officer.

DG NSG MA Ganapathy said that investigators were probing a possible link between the IED bomb in Delhi and the device used in the recent Ludhiana bombing.

Preliminary investigation indicated that suspected terrorists planted the bomb at the flower market’s main gate. “It is suspected that the alleged person did the recee before planting the bomb and we there was a timer placed inside the bomb,” a senior police official said.

The black bag weighed approximately 3 kg, said sources.

NSG personnel wore bomb suits at the site where they brought a bomb disposal container known as a total containment vessel (TCV). With the help of police personnel, NSG bomb disposal specialists dug an approximate eight-foot ditch in an open area where the bag carrying the IED was disposed of. “The NSG conducted a controlled explosion of the recovered IED at around 1:30 PM,” an official said.

The NSG, meanwhile, said: “A bomb disposal squad of the NSGhas defused the IED recovered from Ghazipur. Samples of the IED have been collected. The team will submit a report on the chemical component used to assemble the explosive.”

A large police force was deployed in and around the site. In the meantime, the special cell has filed a case under the relevant provisions of the Explosive Act.

What is worrying the investigating agencies is the fact that the target was Ghazipur mandi, which has never been on a high target list although it is a crowded market with a heavy footfall. They believe placing a bag with 3 kg of explosive was a calculated strategy. The market is close to where farmers protested for nearly a year.

DCP Pramod Kushwaha is heading the investigation.

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