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Rediff.com  » News » Delhi police on its toes after Mumbai blasts

Delhi police on its toes after Mumbai blasts

July 14, 2011 18:51 IST

Sahim Salim on how stringent security set-up has been put in place at the national capital following the triple blasts in Mumbai.

Repercussions of the multiple blasts in Mumbai on Wednesday are felt across India, as red alert has been sounded across cities in the country. The national capital New Delhi, especially, has been put on high alert.

Following the blasts in Mumbai, the Delhi police shifted to top gear and reserve police personnel were deployed across crowded places in the capital. In late night operations, all illegal parties and shops were removed.

"In markets like Sarojini Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, etc. there is a large number of illegal roadside vendors. These have been removed in a late night operation as they pose immense security threat. Illegal vegetable or flower bazaars also have not been allowed to be set up," a senior police official said.

Beat constables are also checking and verifying parked vehicles in and around markets. Dust bins, road side trees, dumpsters, etc. are being thoroughly checked.

Local sources, part of Delhi police's Eyes and Ears scheme, have been reactivated for potential information on suspicious movements. A team of the city's police force's anti-terrorist wing, the special cell, is tracking phone numbers belonging to the suspected members of the Indian Mujahideen.

Police personnel are personally conducting random checks at malls and markets, in addition to private security. Vehicles coming into the city are also being checked at borders. Almost all of Delhi's 60,000-strong police force has been pushed into active duty. Police presence was seen at the airport, railway stations and bus stands.

The city government's health department has also readied itself. The state's hospitals have been instructed to be prepared for "any eventuality."

The Delhi government is worried because they have several unsolved blasts in their hands. The recent blast at the Delhi high court on May 25 and the blast outside Jama Masjid on September 19, 2010 are special causes of worry for investigators.

In both these cases, ammonium nitrate and timers were used -- the signature style of the Indian Mujahideen. Several investigators also suspect that causalities in both these cases could have been immense, but were saved by a malfunction in their detonators.

In addition to these, about six low intensity blasts have been reported in the city in the past few years, all of which remain unsolved.

Investigators are worried about the regrouping of sleeper cell of the Indian Mujahideen in the national capital. All unsolved blasts cases carry the signature style of the IM, including an e-mail claiming responsibility for the blast outside Jama Masjid, carried out on the anniversary of Delhi police's Batla house encounter, in which two alleged members of the IM were gunned down in 2008.

Sahim Salim in New Delhi