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2007 Samjhauta Express blast case: Haryana's Panchkula court reserves order for March 14

The Alleged Mastermind In The Attack, Sunil Joshi, Was Killed In December 2007.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 11 Mar 2019, 05:20:46 PM
2007 Samjhauta Express blast case: Haryana's Panchkula court reserves order for March 14

New Delhi:

The Haryana's Panchkula court on Monday reserved the order in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case for March 14. Sixty-eight people were charred to death in the blasts in two coaches of the Samjhauta Express in Panipat on February 18, 2007. Initially, investigators believed activists of SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) were behind the blast, but they later came to the conclusion that the attack had been planned by a group with right-wing leanings.

In its charge sheet, NIA named eight persons as the accused. Only four — Naba Kumar Sarkar, or Swami Aseemanand (out on bail); Lokesh Sharma (in judicial custody); Kamal Chauhan (in judicial custody); and Rajinder Chaudhary (in judicial custody) — will appear before the court on Monday when the verdict will be pronounced.

The alleged mastermind in the attack, Sunil Joshi, was killed in December 2007.

Three other accused —Ramchandra Kalsangra Sandeep Dange and Amit —are absconding.

The NIA charge sheet said investigations revealed that the accused were given training at Bagli in Dewas in Madhya Pradesh and Faridabad in Haryana for the preparation of the bomb and the firing of pistol.

The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy which resulted in bomb blasts in the Attari or Samjhauta Express train near Panipat.

The NIA, in investigations over a period of almost one year, held that the entire conspiracy was hatched between 2005 and 2007 by Aseemanand, Joshi and their associates at different places including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

It further said that Aseemanand was upset with terrorist attacks on temples -- Akshardham (Gujarat), Raghunath Mandir (Jammu) and Sankat Mochan Mandir (Varanasi).

He used to "give vent to" his feelings while discussing it with Joshi and his associates.

As a result, Aseemanand propounded a "bomb ka badla bomb" (Bomb for a bomb) theory, according to the NIA.

The Samjhauta train was chosen as most of its passengers are Pakistani citizens, it said.

Out of 299 witnesses, the court proceedings for 249 have been completed.

The Samjhauta Express, also called Attari Express, is a bi-weekly train that runs on Wednesdays and Sundays - between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan.

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First Published : 11 Mar 2019, 04:54:14 PM