Samjhauta Express blast case handed over to NIA

Written by Raghvendra Rao | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 31 2010, 05:02am hrs
With no headway in investigations into the Samjhauta Express blasts, the Centre has handed over the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). As many as 68 people were killed in the blasts that occurred on board the Pakistan-bound train near Diwana railway station in Panipat on February 18, 2007.

UK Bansal, special secretary (internal security) in the ministry of home affairs, today acknowledged that the case had been handed over the NIA. Sources in the MHA said this was done this week following a request from the Haryana Special Investigation Team (SIT), which had been probing the case. The bi-weekly train runs between Delhi and Lahore.

The government feels that the NIA, which has the mandate to investigate and prosecute offences of inter-state ramifications, the NIA is better placed to investigate this case where differing views, ranging from the alleged involvement of Lt Col Prasad Purohit to right-wing extremists, have emerged from time to time. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) first suspected the involvement of Purohit in the supply of RDX used in the blast but later denied the statement.