Diplomats targeted in Delhi?
There have been in the past several cases involving foreign diplomats in the capital, which I had the opportunity to cover during my tenure as a Correspondent with various newspapers.
One particular case I recall very vividly was in I think early July in 1982 when I was working for the Patriot newspaper. My colleague Bina Jang who stayed in Navjiwan Vihar in South Delhi called me up in the morning to inform me that a Kuwaiti diplomat had been shot near her house in Gitanjali Enclave. I immediately rushed to the spot to find her waiting near the A block of the colony where the incident had taken place. We reached the house occupied by the diplomat and saw blood all around a Black Mercedes Benz, which was parked near the Gate. Two unidentified persons had shot the diplomat, Mustafa Al Marzook, third secretary with the Kuwaiti embassy here from point blank range. He had been rushed to hospital but the police was combing the area to gather some clues. The case, which is yet to be solved, was subsequently transferred to the Crime Branch and then to the Central Bureau of Investigation. It was suspected that some Palestinian organization was responsible for the killings and though the names of two students of the Kureskshetra University figured during the probe, nothing conclusive was established. It was said that both Mohammad Jalil and Mohammad Ibrahim, the two suspects had escaped the country and gone to Jordan. Nothing has been heard about the progress if any of this case of murder.
It was some years later when I was in the Times of India that a Soviet Economic Attache, V.Khitzichenko was shot dead by two motorcycle riders on Satya Marg between the Niti Bagh and Shanti Path stretch. The diplomat was in his car and was returning to the embassy after shopping at the Yashwant place complex with his wife when he was shot dead. Various theories did the rounds and one of them was that the Soviets got their own man bumped off since they suspected that he could defect to some country. But the case remained inconclusive.
On defections, one recalls the case of Igor Guejo, an official with the Soviet Embassy who suddenly disappeared one fine evening from the Lodi Garden where he had gone for his walk. The incident took place in the late eighties and the police recovered his red coloured Lada Vaz car parked at its usual place near the Gardens. While the police was still looking for him, Guejo surfaced in New York. Obviously he had defected to the United States. The Red Faced Soviet embassy tried to cover up the matter but the Western media saw it as a great opportunity to embarrass Moscow and played up the defection.
The most talked about incident in recent times took place I think on October 9, 1991 if I remember correctly at Jorbagh. Sikh militants abducted the Romanian Ambassador Liveu Radu in broad daylight apparently just before his Car was about to turn into the Lodi Road. The then police Commissioner Arun Bhagat (later Director of Intelligence Bureau) put out all efforts to trace the miscreants but with not much success. It was stated that Radu was finally released after a deal was struck between the Sikh Militant group and the Romanian government with an Indian spy agency playing the broker.
The Romanians had in their custody some Sikhs who had made an attempt on the life of then Indian envoy and well-known cop Julio Ribeiro. It was speculated that Radu was allowed to go once the militant groups managed to get their accomplices freed. There was, however, no official word on the incident.
There have been several more incidents involving diplomats in the national capital including the murder of a Saudi Arabian diplomat in the early eighties and an attempt on the life of a Jordanian official around the same time.
The diplomatic community talked about these incidents for a long time subsequently.