A special NIA court will deliver its verdict in the Samjhauta Express blast case today. The 2007 blast had left 68 people dead.
A special National Investigating Agency (NIA) will pronounce its verdict in the February 2007 Samjhauta Express train blast case. The court was slated to deliver the verdict on March 11 after arguments in the case concluded on March 6. The court, however, on March 11 deferred the pronouncement of verdict till March 14 after a fresh petition was filed by a Pakistani national.
The petitioner argued that eyewitnesses from Pakistan who were present on the train when blasts took place were not sent summons nor asked to appear before the court. They were also not issued visas to come to India for court proceedings.
The blast had taken place on February 18, 2007. The train runs between Delhi and Lahore. The incident took place in Panipat of Haryana and left 68 people dead (43 Pakistanis, 10 Indians and 15 unidentified).
Earlier in January 2014, the NIA had framed charges against Swami Aseemanand and three others — Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma in the case.
On Monday, all accused were present in the NIA court. They were charged with criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder, sedition under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Explosive Substances Act, the Railways Act, the Damage to Public Property Act and the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act.
Aseemanand, a member of the right-wing Hindu group ‘Abhinav Bharat’, was arrested by CBI in November 2010 from Haridwar for his role in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad that killed 14 people. The NIA, which questioned Aseemanand about his role in the Samjhauta blast case, said it had evidence against him and others.
Over 250 witnesses were examined during the trial, out of which some had turned hostile.