Year on, cops in dark over attack on Israeli diplomat

New Delhi, Feb. 13 -- A year after the capital bore witness to a near fatal attack on the wife of an Israeli diplomat, one-sided investigations by Delhi Police haven't revealed a trace of the 'foreign mercenaries' who allegedly executed it.

On the eve of the first anniversary of what came to known as the 'sticky bomb plot' - as Israel pressed for the arrests of four men of Iranian-origin who allegedly executed it - the Delhi Police, according to their own candid admission, are helpless owing to lack of cooperation from Tehran.

In fact, sources claimed, this time intelligence inputs have put the police face-to-face with 'a real terror threat' from west Asian terror outfit Hezbollah, which had been first suspected of having been behind the plot on February 13, 2012.

"Letters rogatory (LRs) issued to seek assistance from Tehran to help trace and arrest the accused for their involvement in the plot are yet to even be formally acknowledged," a highly-placed source admitted. "We keep sending reminders to them every now and then but to no avail."

During investigations, the special cell of Delhi Police had arrested 50-year-old freelance journalist Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi and issued open warrants against four men it had identified as Seyed Ali Mehdiansadr, Mohammadreza Abolghasemi, Houshang Afsar Irani and Sedaghatzadeh Masoud.

Kazmi was accused of having provided technical support to the accused but later granted bail. A special cell team had visited Tehran to trace and arrest the four Iranians.

"When we went there, we received great cooperation from our counterparts who took us to the locations we needed to go and to trace these men. But nothing came off it," said an officer. "The addresses on their passports were apparently incorrect."

"Immediately after the attack, India's External Affairs Minister had assured the Israeli leadership that the culprits will be brought to justice at the earliest, that the law of the land will take its course and that India will continue with the investigation," said Israeli Ambassador Alon Ushpiz in a statement.

On their part, the police said, they would continue to seek the help of the CBI as well as the MEA to keep sending reminders to Tehran for assistance. The MEA was unavailable for comment despite repeated efforts.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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