Samjhauta blast case: Aseemanand, 3 others formally charged

Panchkula (Haryana), Jan 24: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here Friday framed charges against Hindu leader Swami Aseemanand and three others in the Samjhauta train blast case.

Following the framing of charges, Aseemanand and three others – Kamal Chand, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma – will face trial for criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder, sedition and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and various sections of the Explosive Substances Act, Railways Act, Damage to Public Property Act, and Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act.

Aseemanand, a member of the right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, was arrested in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad in which 14 people were killed in 2007.

The NIA had questioned Aseemanand about his role in the Samjhauta Express train blasts Feb 18, 2007, at Diwana village near the industrial town of Panipat, 160 km from here, in Haryana. The suitcase bombing took place in two coaches of the train.

A total of 68 people, a majority of them Pakistani nationals, lost their lives in the Samjhauta blast.

The train was going from Delhi to Attari, the last station on the Indian side. The passengers were to board the Samjhauta Express train, a twice-a-week peace train between India and Pakistan, to Lahore city in Pakistan the next day (Feb 19).

Aseemanand was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation Nov 19, 2010, from Haridwar.

The NIA later said that it has evidence against Aseemanand and others.

The charge sheet in the case was filed in 2011, four years after the bombing attack took place.

IANS