A crew of Taiwanese documentary filmmakers touring India were shot at by two assailants on a motorbike near the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi on Sunday morning. Two-and-a-half hours later, a Maruti 800 car parked near the Jama Masjid police station exploded.
Though no direct link between the two incidents has yet been made, their occurrence heightened security concerns with the Commonwealth Games only 13 days away. Athletes and delegates will start landing in Delhi from September 23.
Police, however, denied it was a terror attack and said that a “group of disgruntled young men wanted to target tourists.”
Two hours after the attack, the BBC’s Hindi service received an e-mail from the banned Indian Mujahideen (IM) — indicted in several earlier blasts — claiming responsibility. The mail referred to the Batla House encounter of 2008, violence in Kashmir, the 26/11 attacks and the Games as the reasons for the Jama Masjid strike.
“The e-mail is not directly linked to the attack,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesman, Delhi police. A senior police officers said the contents were “amateurish, factually incorrect and did not bear the signature style of the IM.”
Home Ministry officials refused to speculate on the identity or motive of the attack. "The (security) agencies are looking at all aspects," a home ministry official said.
An incident like this is worrying but nothing to panic about. Lots of security measure have already been taken but wherever there is inadequacy, holes will be plugged,” said Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit.
The incident occurred at 11.23 am when the tourists were getting into their bus near Gate number 3 of Jama Masjid.
The two injured have been identified as Zeseweiu Ku (27) and Chiang Ko (38). The latter is in critical condition at Lok Nayak Hospital.