Major terror strike foiled as IED defused at Delhi market
NEW DELHI: With barely two weeks to go for Republic Day, Delhi Police and sleuths of National Security Guard averted a major terror strike by defusing an RDX-based improvised explosive device (IED) through a controlled explosion at the Ghazipur flower market in east Delhi on Friday afternoon. Around 2kg of RDX explosive was packed in a solid iron casing, equipped with a commercial charge timer, and kept inside a black bag. Traces of ammonium nitrate were found on the surface of the device.
What has alarmed the intelligence agencies and the special cell is that explosives were discovered in Srinagar and Amritsar, simultaneously, indicating that a coordinated strike may have been attempted, potentially by ISI. While it was a pressure cooker IED in Srinagar, explosives and detonators were seized from a field in Amritsar.
The special cell has filed an FIR on the incident and begun a probe. Two primary lines of investigation are being followed: sleeper cells of a terror outfit being activated in the capital and involvement of Khalistani operatives. The latter stems from the recent alerts issued by various agencies.
In Delhi, police responded to a call of a suspicious object in a bag at Ghazipur around 10.20am. According to the control room log, the caller said that an unattended bag was kept near his scooter parked near Gate No. 1 of the flower market. The market is usually packed with people at this time.
Immediately, the control room dispatched bomb and dog squads. Simultaneously, an NSG bomb disposal squad – which is stationed at Central Vista at present – was rushed to the spot.
The area was cordoned off. The bag was picked up by a robot deployed by NSG and secured in a special wagon even as a JCB was brought to the spot to dig a hole for carrying out a controlled explosion to destroy the IED.
“The bomb disposal squad of NSG defused the IED recovered from Ghazipur. Samples of the IED have been collected and the team will submit a report on the chemical components used to assemble the explosive,” said an NSG official.
By afternoon, the multi-agency centre, a nodal unit, received reports regarding recovery of explosives in Punjab and Srinagar as well. Intelligence agencies are tracking recent movements of terror modules for leads. “The imprints show that the IED is similar to the ones recovered in Punjab recently. It is being probed if the IED is the one of the dozen devices smuggled from across the border last year. Only a few have been recovered from that consignment till now,” said a source in an agency.
Two days ago, Punjab Police recovered 2.5kg of RDX, a detonator, five explosive fuses with wires and other weapons and ammunitions in Gurdaspur. Analysis of the bomb used in the blast at the Ludhiana court complex had revealed that 2kg of RDX was used.
Delhi Police’s special cell has collected CCTV footage from the stretches adjoining the spot. No camera was found focused on the spot. A team is likely to get in touch with Punjab Police on Monday.