New Delhi: A day after some unidentified gunmen opened indiscriminate firing in Delhi’s historic Jama Masjid, injuring two Taiwanese tourists, police on Monday claimed that the attackers surveyed the area at least four times before the incident.
Delhi Police made this claim after speaking to several witnesses to the firing incident.
“Investigations are on,” a Delhi Police official said. “We are taking the investigation forward based on eyewitness accounts. We have been told that the attackers surveyed the area at least four times,” he said. The police have also started hunting for people matching the account of the attackers, the official said.
Meanwhile, doctors at Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital today said that the two Taiwanese tourists injured in the firing were now stable.
The injured tourists, Ko Chang and Ku Ze Wei, both in their 20s, were shot in the head and stomach respectively when the gunmen fired at a bus from which a group of tourists was alighting outside gate 3 of the Jama Masjid around 11.30 a.m. Sunday.
The attack came just two weeks before the Games starting Oct 3. A high alert was issued by the police Sunday and security has been tightened in the national capital.
Despite claims by Delhi Police, not much headway has been made in the investigations into the firing incident outside Jama Masjid. The investigators have so far questioned about 30 people in connection with Sunday’s incident of firing at a Taiwanese media crew and a car catching fire after a “crudely-circuited” device went off.
“We have some leads. We are working on it. We are confident of cracking the case,” a senior police official said.
Police also said that a person residing in Vasant Kunj, who was picked up for questioning in connection with the incidents, was cleared of any suspicion.
“A local gave a registration number of a motorcycle claiming that the two gunmen opened fire and escaped in the two-wheeler. After verification, we have ruled out his role in the incident,” a senior police official said.
At the moment, Delhi Police is ruling out the role of any organised terror group but intelligence experts insist that it could be the handiwork of outlawed Indian Mujahideen, which was behind a series of blasts in several cities, including Delhi.
The Indian Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened terror strikes during the Commonwealth Games, saying the incident was to coincide with the second anniversary of Batla House encounter.
The city police suspect that disgruntled youths or a gang of local criminals could be behind the incidents.
The motive appears to be to scare people ahead of the Commonwealth Games, they said, adding the attacks do not show signs of involvement of terrorist outfits like Indian Mujahideen.
Security was stepped in the city following the incidents and armed policemen and paramilitary personnel were deployed across the city to keep a strict vigil.
As a precautionary measure, parking outside Commonwealth Games venues and 470 iconic buildings have been banned and intensive checking have begun at these places.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today visited LNJP hospital to enquire about the health condition of the two Taiwanese nationals injured in the attack.