A month after Ghazipur scare, bomb found in Delhi’s old Seemapuri
The bomb detection and disposal squad of the National Security Guard was called to handle the explosive which safely took out the bag containing the explosive device and removed it from the congested residential neighbourhood in its total containment vessel
Just over a month after an improvised explosive device (IED) containing RDX and ammonium nitrate was found in an unclaimed bag at Ghazipur Flower Market, a Delhi Police special team found a similar bomb at a house in northeast Delhi’s Old Seemapuri area on Thursday afternoon, senior police officers privy to the information said.
The officers said the bomb was found in a raid at the house during the ongoing investigation in the Ghazipur case.
The bomb detection and disposal squad of the National Security Guard (NSG) was called to handle the explosive which safely took out the bag containing the explosive device and removed it from the congested residential neighbourhood in its total containment vessel (TCV), a machine that is used to contain, transport and dispose explosives.
“NSG’s bomb experts confirmed that the bag contained an IED and its components matched with the explosive substances (RDX and ammonium nitrate) and other items such as shrapnel, magnet, found in the IED found at the Ghazipur flower market. However, they are yet to tell if it had timer device too. We are waiting for an official report on the IED,” said a special cell officer, who asked not to be named.
The NSG experts destroyed the IED through a controlled explosion for which an 8-foot pit was dug in a park near Dilshad Garden, about a kilometre away from the place where it was found.
Hashim Ahmad, the owner of the house where the IED was found, is a property dealer, and was taken into custody by the special cell sleuths for questioning. The house was locked when the special cell team reached there around 1.30pm on Thursday. According to investigators, initial questioning with Ahmad revealed that he rented out the second floor to some people who were missing at the time of the raid. They said the identities of the tenants are being established.
“The landlord did not get the tenants verified by the police which is a mandatory. This is why the investigating agency as well as the central security and intelligence agencies are probing Ahmad. It’s too early to say anything about his involvement. There is a possibility that he might be unaware of the identities of the tenants. The special cell sleuths are trying to find on whose reference the landlord rented out the floor. They are trying to piece together the missing links,” said one of the officers involved in the investigation.
Speaking to mediapersons at the spot, Ahmad’s mother said, “In the afternoon, we got to know that police have taken my son in custody. He has given that house to someone on rent and has nothing to do with the incident. I have no idea about the persons living there.”
The suspicious bag that looked similar to the one found at one of the gates of Ghazipur flower market on January 14. The IED at Ghazipur was also destroyed through a controlled explosion, and NSG experts had said that it was defused just one and a half hours before it was timed to explode.
A special cell officer said the that has been investigating the Ghazipur case had recently received inputs through electronic surveillance that the suspects might have been living in or have a link with a house in Old Seemapuri’s D-block.
After identifying the house, the special cell team reached there and found it locked. The police officers unlocked the house and found a black bag during the search. On initial inspection of the bag, the officers suspected that it could have an explosive device, and they alerted the NSG team, fire department, the bomb disposal unit of the city police and the local police.
The areas around the building were cordoned off and residents as well as shopkeepers were asked to vacate their houses and shops. The forensic science laboratory team also reached there to inspect the building and collect evidence.
Mohammad Tahib Siddiqui, a local resident, said, “We saw police in our area. Later, we were informed by security officials that there could be possibility of a bomb in our area. So, the residents near the suspected house were evacuated as a precautionary measure. Police asked some of us about the tenants who lives in that house.”
Two days after the IED was found at Ghazipur flower market, Mujahideen Ghazwat-ul-Hind (MGH), an alleged al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group active in Kashmir, claimed the responsibility of planting the bomb at the wholesale market. The claim was made in a post on a Telegram app group, in which the outfit wrote that “the IED did not explode due to some technical glitches but the Indian agencies should be prepared for more successful terror strikes”, said another officer privy to the probe.