Israel attack: Indian ‘journalist’ nabbed (Second Lead)March 7th, 2012 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) A 52-year-old Indian national claiming to be a freelance journalist was arrested in connection with the attack on an Israeli diplomat here last month, police said Wednesday. India, however, said it can’t “draw any conclusions” as investigations are on.
The accused has been sent to 20 days’ police custody.
Sayed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, 52, was arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police around 11.30 p.m. Tuesday from India Islamic Cultural Centre in south Delhi’s Lodhi Road area, said a senior police official.
Kazmi, hailing from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, has been residing in south Delhi’s B.K. Dutt colony near Jor Bagh area for several years.
“Kazmi, a post-graduate in Persian language from Delhi University, has worked as a freelance journalist with DD News. For 30 years he has been working as a freelance journalist and has also been working as a news reader for a Tehran-based radio,” said the official.
“He was arrested for his alleged role in helping the accused involved in the Israeli diplomat’s car blast incident,” said the official.
The government, however, treaded cautiously when asked about Kazmi’s association with Iranian media outfits.
“As you are aware, investigations are underway in this case… The investigations are pursuing various leads… and our understanding is that no conclusions can be drawn at this stage,” Syed Akbaruddin, the external affairs ministry spokesperson, told reporters.
Israel had blamed Iran and its militant proxies for the car bomb attack. India has carefully refused to be drawn into the Israel-Iran spat as it has good relations with both countries.
A few days ago, Kazmi had visited Syria with a group of journalists, added the official.
“Kazmi was produced before chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Yadav’s bench in Tis Hazari court Wednesday afternoon,” a police official said.
The court sent him to 20 days’ police custody till March 27. Kazmi’s counsel told court that he is a senior and responsible journalist and has covered Iraq war while working with DD news. He argued that he should not be sent to 20 days’ police custody.
However, police said Kazmi had given shelter to the blast accused and helped him in doing recce of the area.
A scooty, which was used during the blast, has been recovered from Kazmi’s house, said a senior Delhi police official.
The official refused to disclose more information citing the sensitivity of the case.
Four people were injured when an Israeli diplomat’s car was struck by a bomb near the Israeli embassy in the capital Feb 13.
Tal Yehoshua Koren, wife of the Israeli defence attache, suffered multiple injuries when a motorcycle rider attached a magnetic explosive device to her car and sped away. Within seconds, the device exploded with a thunderous sound, setting the car on fire.
Koren moved back to Israel after getting treatment at a private south Delhi hospital. Three others injured were discharged after being given medical aid.
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Tags: car bomb attack, dd news, delhi police, delhi university, external affairs ministry, freelance journalist, indian journalist, iranian media, islamic cultural centre, israeli diplomat, jor bagh, kazmi, lodhi road, media outfits, meerut, persian language, police custody, police official, south delhi, tis hazari court