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Cops assemble bomb part, N Delhi markets on radar

Five days after the attack on an Israeli embassy official, the Delhi Police are piecing chunks of evidence together, literally.

delhi Updated: Feb 18, 2012 23:53 IST

Five days after the attack on an Israeli embassy official, the Delhi Police are piecing chunks of evidence together, literally.

Traces of a ‘magnetic residue’ have helped investigators successfully reconstruct a rectangular magnetic strip. The residue apparently formed the bottom portion of the ‘sticky bomb’ that sent the official’s Innova car up in flames after being planted on its rear end by an unknown biker.

“Several chunks of varying sizes were recovered from among the debris strewn about at the spot. After collecting these chunks for over four days, we have now been able to reconstruct a rectangular magnetic strip measuring six inches in length and four inches in width out of these,” said a senior police officer.

On February 13, Talyehoshua Koren, the 42-year-old wife of an Israeli diplomat, was targeted while on her way to pick up her children from the American School at Chanakyapuri around 3.16pm.

According to police, a mysterious biker had then followed her vehicle to the red light signal at the Aurangzeb Road-Safdurjung Road crossing. He had planted a button-armed incendiary device, or a ‘sticky bomb’, at the rear right side of the car and fled as the Innova burst into flames.

“We can now conclusively prove that the bomb was stuck using a magnetic strip which readily climbed and stuck on to the flat metallic surface of the Israeli vehicle,” the officer said.

Police said a massive operation to ascertain whether a person of foreign origin had procured a magnetic strip from the Capital’s bustling wholesale markets in north Delhi is now underway.

“We are questioning several traders who deal in magnetic strips from automotive shops located in Kashmere Gate, Nai Sarak and Lajpat Rai market in north Delhi,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, in her statement to the police, a ‘traumatised’ Koren claimed that she had “no recollection of the colour of the motorcycle that the alleged bomber was riding.”

“She has told us that she doesn’t remember the exact colour of the bike as everything happened between 10-15 seconds. We are relying on the statement of one Gopal Krishnan, who was driving a Ford Ikon behind the Israeli vehicle and has claimed that the man was riding a red bike. We are looking for the bike,” the officer said.

The local police have been asked to provide details about “red bikes stolen and recovered” from within their jurisdictions since 2006, sources claimed. “We are scrutinising records about stolen and unclaimed vehicles at the police station level. The crime branch has also been told to keep a tab on the case,” the officer said.

Sources claimed that between 50 to 80 ‘fast-moving bikes of red colour’ have been checked by each of its 189 police stations since the incident occurred on Monday. “But whether we will be able to catch the bike plying on the streets is a big question. It will probably be found abandoned — if at all it is recovered," an officer added.

Probe on right track: Gupta

A day after Talyehoshua Koren’s statement was recorded by the special cell of the Delhi Police, Police Commissioner BK Gupta said, “The probe is on the right track.

There is a prime eyewitness in the case whose statement about the vehicle has been recorded. A massive bike verification-cum-checking exercise is underway based on his statement.”

First Published: Feb 18, 2012 23:52 IST