This Article is From Aug 28, 2014

Swami Aseemanand Gets Bail in Samjhauta Blast Case

Swami Aseemanand Gets Bail in Samjhauta Blast Case

File photo of Swami Aseemanand

Chandigarh: Swami Aseemanand - accused in three terror cases -- has been granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the Samjhauta Express blasts case. But with two other cases lodged against him, he cannot be released from Haryana's Ambala jail, where he is currently lodged. The charges against him include murder and sedition.

Though the series of attacks by right-wing groups took place between 2006 and 2008, the cases against Aseemanand relate to three infamous attacks of 2007. Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid blasts, which killed 14 people, Ajmer Dargah blasts, which killed three persons, and the worst -- the bombing of the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express. Suitcase bombs had gone off in two compartments of the train, killing 68 people, most of them Pakistan nationals.

Though at first, police suspected the involvement of Islamic terrorists, investigation soon pointed to the involvement of Aseemanand. A former activist of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, he headed the right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat. Along with Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, he came to be identified as a key leader of Hindu ultra-right groups.

In December 2011, four years after his arrest, Aseemanand confessed to his involvement in the three attacks in court. He also implicated the RSS.  Later, he retracted his confessions, alleging it was made under coercion.