Samjhauta Blast Case: All Accused Acquitted

A special court acquitted Swami Aseemanand and three others in the Samjhauta train blast case, saying the National Investigative Agency failed miserably to establish their guilt. NIA special judge Jagdeep Singh also dismissed the plea of a Pakistani woman for examining eyewitnesses from her country, saying the plea was “devoid of merit.”

Later in the day, Islamabad summoned high commissioner Ajay Bisaria to lodge a protest against the acquittal. The terrorist attack on the train to Pakistan had killed 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, near Panipat on February 18, 2007. NIA counsel Rajan Malhotra said all four accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar, alias Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary were acquitted. As soon as the verdict was delivered, RSS pracharak Aseemanand chanted ‘Jai Sri Ram’.

“I was falsely implicated. I said so from day one. I always had full faith in the judiciary,” Aseemanand said before leaving the court. He has been acquitted in the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif blast cases too, in which NIA had alleged he was the ‘mastermind’. He is already out on bail. Chauhan will walk free now but Lokesh Sharma and Rajendra Chaudhary are accused in other cases.

NIA had named Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajendra Chaudhary as those who planted the bombs on the Samjhauta Express. Aseemanand’s lawyer JP Sharma said: “a confession was recorded forcibly before a judge and used against him in all 3 cases. This court has thrown out the so-called confessions.”

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