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Jama Masjid Firing Spot Only Metres Away From Police Station

New Delhi, Sep 19:  Sunday's  firing at a tourist vehicle outside Jama Masjid here took place just a few metres away from a police station. A Delhi Police Constable and a rickshaw-puller tried to give
PTI September 19, 2010 18:58 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Sep 19:  Sunday's  firing at a tourist vehicle outside Jama Masjid here took place just a few metres away from a police station.

A Delhi Police Constable and a rickshaw-puller tried to give a chase to the two motorbike-borne men who fired at foreign tourists outside Jama Masjid but could not catch them as they sped away on their two-wheelers.

Constable Pramod was manning Gate No 3 of the historic 16th century mosque when he heard the gunshots and rushed out only to find the men firing at the mini-bus carrying Taiwanese tourists. Two of the tourists were injured in the incident.

As they saw the policeman, the gunmen accelerated their motorcycle and sped away from the spot which was just a stone's throw away from Jama Masjid Police Station in central Delhi.

A rickshaw-puller Salim, who was ferrying some passengers, also saw the gunmen.

"I was ferrying passengers when I saw two fair-skinned and tall men firing. As soon as they reached the bus they started shooting," Salim said.

"I got down from the rickshaw and threw a brick at them and even tried to chase them. But they fled," he said adding that one of them was wearing a green T-shirt while the other was wearing a black jacket.

The two men sped away towards Chawri Bazar.

Incidentally, the PCR van used to be stationed outside Gate No 3 was not there when the incident took place.

"Normally, the PCR van is stationed there. But today it was not there. It might have got a call and gone somewhere," Syed Tarique Bukhari, General Secretary of Jama Masjid's Consultative Committee, said.

Around 50 foreigners were also inside Jama Masjid when the firing took place.

They were on the stairs and some of them rushed downstairs to help the victims while others were herded inside by the mosque security personnel.

A large crowd gathered in the area while tourists who were there to visit the mosque left soon after the incident. Police said phone calls in the area are being scanned and armed personnel have been deployed in the locality. PTI