Samjhauta blast verdict: One of the accused, Aseemanand is out on bail
Panchkula: A court in Haryana's Panchkula today reserved its order in the Samjhauta Express blast case till Thursday after a Pakistani woman filed a petition claiming she had some evidence relevant to the case. Rahila L Vakeel -daughter of one of the victims of the blast - has filed a petition to summon witnesses from Pakistan as most of the eye witnesses are from that country. The 12-year-old case saw a number of twists and turns, with the alleged mastermind found murdered and another out on bail. The NIA interrogated 290 witnesses and 30 among them turned hostile. Early morning on February 18, 2007, a terrible blast on Samjhauta Express - the bi-weekly train that runs between India and Pakistan - killed as many as 68 passengers including many Pakistanis.
Here are your ten facts about the Samjhauta Express blast of 2007
- Blast took place close to Dewana railway station in Haryana's Panipat district, while on its way to Attari on the India-Pakistan border.
- A special investigation team (SIT) was formed on February 20, 2007, to probe the case. It was finally handed over to the National Investigation Team (NIA) in 2010.
- The investigators had initially believed that activists of the banned SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) were behind the blast, but later said that the attack was planned by a group with right-wing links.
- NIA investigators found that an improvised explosive devise or IED and other munition were used to trigger the blast.
- In its charge sheet, the NIA named, Naba Kumar Sarkar also known as Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi, Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra Kalasangra, Rajinder Chaudhary and Kamal Chauhan as accused.
- Sunil Joshi, the alleged mastermind, was found dead in 2007, in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas, while Ramchandra Kalasangra and Sandeep Dange could not be traced.
- Aseemanand, a right-wing activist, who was allegedly involved in the Ajmer Dargah bombing and the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad, is out on bail.
- Aseemanand was acquitted in both the Ajmer Dargah bombing and the Mecca Masjid blast.
- The special NIA court that acquitted Aseemanand held that his confessional statement was recorded when he was in police custody and that it was not "voluntary".
- 2007 saw three high profile terror attacks -- the Samjhauta Express blast in February, Mecca Masjid blast in May and the Ajmer Dargah bombing in October.
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