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All you need to know: Samjhauta Express blast

Chandigarh: 11 years after the 18th February 2007 Samjhauta Express bomb blast which killed 68 passangers travelling from Delhi to Lahore, the investigation of the Officials involved in the case still continues. The case was first investigated by the Haryana Police but later was handed over to the National Investigation Agency.

File Photo

Panchkula's special court is witnessing the testimony of government officials involved in the case while the chief accused Swami Aseemanand is released on bail.

The bombs exploded on Samjhauta Express which runs two days a week between India and Pakistan. The people who were killed were both Indian and Pakistani citizens as well.

Samjhauta Express happens to be the same train whose service was suspended in 2001 after the parliament attack but was reinstated with hopes of strengthening the ties between the two countries but the hopes behind this move failed to be fulfilled.

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Two days after the blast, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khursheed Ahmed Kassuri was about to come to India. The incident was strongly condemned in both the countries. However, Kasuri's tour to India was not canceled.

The Indian administration had sent back seven injured passengers amongst the others by permitting the Pakistani Air Force aircraft in India.

According to the police FIR filed on February 19, 2007, at 23:53 am, a train exploded near the Deewana railway station of Panipat, 80 km away from Delhi. Due to which, two general coach of the train caught fire. The passengers heard the voices of two blasts, after which train coaches were set on fire. Of the 68 people killed, 16 children were and four railway workers were involved among the dead.
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During the investigation, the police found two suitcase bombs from the spot which did not explode. Based on the statements of the witnesses on February 20, 2007, the police issued 'sketches' of two suspects. It was said that both of the suspects boarded the train in Delhi and got down somewhere in between before the blast happened.

The police had also announced a cash reward of one lakh rupees for those who give information about the suspects. Also, Haryana had constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for this case.

On March 15, 2007, Haryana Police arrested two suspects from Indore. It was the first arrest in connection with these blasts. The police had reached the suspects with the help of suitcase cover. These covers were purchased from a market in Indore a few days prior to the incident.
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Later on, similar sorts of incidents were reported in Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Dargah and Malegaon, and the links of these cases were found interconnected. The Haryana Police and Maharashtra's ATS found signs of involvement of a Hindu fundamentalist organization named 'Abhinav Bharat'.

An RSS leader Indresh Kumar was also interrogated in connection with these blasts. After this, the matter was handed over to NIA on July 26, 2010.

On 26th June, 2011 the NIA filed a charge sheet against five people. In the first charge sheet, Nabha Kumar aka Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Lokesh Sharma.
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The investigating agency says that all of the accused were unhappy with the Islamic terrorist attacks in Akshardham (Gujarat), Raghunath Temple (Jammu), Sankat Mohan (Varanasi) temples, and wanted to take revenge - a bomb for a bomb. Later, NIA had filed an additional charge sheet in Panchkula Special Court and the hearing on which is going on since February 24, 2014.

The accused, Swami Aseemanand, got bail in August 2014 in the Samjhauta Express blast case. The investigating agency, NIA, could not provide enough evidence against Aseemanand in the court.

He was arrested by the CBI in Haridwar in Uttarakhand in 2010. He was accused of being related to the execution of several bomb blasts in India between 2006 and 2008.

The case against Aseemanand was made on the basis of his confessional statement, but later he declined from his statement claiming that he had given the statement because of torture.



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