By Sumit Kumar Singh
New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) As US President Donald Trump accused the slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani of being responsible for terrorist plots in Delhi, Indian security establishment said they are revisiting the 2012 bombing of a car of the wife of the Israeli Defence Attache in New Delhi.
The Indian investigators in 2012 had stated that five members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were involved in the attack.
Indian security agencies had arrested a senior journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, who later got bail in the case from the court. “The case is pending trial and charges are yet to be framed against Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi. The next date of hearing in the case is in February, 2020,” said a senior IPS officer.
Fifty-year-old Kazmi, an Indian national freelancing for Radio Tehran and Iranian news agency IRNA, was arrested from outside the India Islamic International Centre in March, 2012.
Kazmi had refuted all allegations and had moved the court.
Then Israeli Defence Attache to India Tal Yehoshua Koren was injured and underwent surgery to remove shrapnel. Her driver and two bystanders were also injured in the attack on February 13, 2012. The attacker used a sticky bomb which was attached to the moving vehicle with a magnet. Manoj Sharma, the 44-year-old driver of the car, and two occupants of another car, Arun Sharma and Manjeet Singh, had received splinter injuries.
The blast happened near a petrol station about 3 pm, barely 200 metres from the Prime Minister’s residence. The car, a Toyota Innova, went up in flames and was completely burnt down in the attack.
The case was given to Delhi Police’s anti-terror unit’s Special Cell which, after three weeks of probe, arrested Kazmi. He was accused of facilitating the Iranian accused, who after carrying out the attack fled India.
Unraveling the conspiracy behind the attack, a top IPS officer told IANS that Iranian citizen and IRGC bomber Hoshang Afshar Irani carried out the attack allegedly with the help of Kazmi and that he was the bomber.
The officer stated that IRGC members planned to attack the Israeli diplomats in India by taking help of Kazmi in January 2011, after Iranian scientists had been attacked allegedly by the Israelis. The cops had claimed that Kazmi was in touch with these people for years.
Irani, the prime suspect, was in India plotting the attack between April 24 and May 6 in 2011. After doing the groundwork then, he came back on January 1 2012 and left Delhi immediately after carrying out the blast on February 13, 2012. He had stayed in room number 305 of Hotel High 5 Land in Karol Bagh.
The police had then sought certain information from Malaysia, Iran, Thailand and Georgia as Iranian hand was suspected in similar attacks on Jewish targets in these countries.
From Iran, Delhi Police had then sought more details of five IRGC members, including the main suspect Irani, Ali Akbar Norouzishayan, claimed to be a retired accountant in Tehran, Sedaghatzadeh Masoud, a sales employee in Tehran, Syed Ali Mahdiansadr, a shopkeeper in Tehran and Mohammad Reza Abolghasemi, a clerk in Tehran’s water supply authority.
A Delhi Police team had visited Iran twice, but they were not provided any information about the case, source said.
The police have found a link between the attacks in Delhi and Malaysia. Two persons from Iran were arrested in Thailand for plotting an attack while another was arrested from Malaysia.
“The person apprehended in Malaysia had applied for an Indian visa from the Indian embassy in Iran. He has mentioned his contact number on the visa form. This number was found contacting an Indian number, which was being used by Irani,” the police stated.
The special cell stated that Kazmi was in constant touch with Irani when he was in Delhi planning the attack. The police had also stated that Kazmi helped the bomber do a recce of the Israeli Embassy and kept tabs on the movement of diplomats there.
Georgia and Thailand shared information with the Special Cell, but Iran never shared information sought in the case.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])