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NIA To Probe Israel Embassy Blast Case: Home Ministry

New Delhi: Four days after a crude bomb went off near the Embassy of Israel on the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road in the national capital, sending security establishments into a tizzy, the Centre on Tuesday handed over the investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

As the NIA has expertise in terror related cases, it would begin the probe soon after receiving the official order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) the nodal Ministry responsible to ensure foolproof internal security across the country. The case is being currently handled by the Delhi Police.

Ministry sources told IANS that the order has been issued while the NIA said it would start the investigation after receiving formal instructions.

The development followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s telephonic conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

In the conversation, Modi had conveyed his strong condemnation of the terror attack near the Israeli Embassy and assured Netanyahu that India accords the highest importance to the safety and security of Israeli diplomats and premises and would deploy all its resources to find and punish the perpetrators.

The bomb blast took place on Friday around 5 p.m., shattering the windscreens of three cars on the road even as the Beating Retreat ceremony was going on a few kilometres away from the spot.

However, no one was injured in the explosion, which took place on the 29th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar later spoke to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi and assured him of “fullest protection” to Israel’s mission and its diplomats in India.

The bomb appeared to have been planted in a flowerpot on the road divider, police then said. A letter in an envelope addressed “to Israel Embassy ambassador” was later found at the spot.

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