National

Samjhauta Express blasts case: special NIA court reserves verdict; next hearing on March 14

File picture of the Samjhauta Express in flames after it was hit by blasts near Panipat, Haryana, on February 18, 2007.

File picture of the Samjhauta Express in flames after it was hit by blasts near Panipat, Haryana, on February 18, 2007.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pakistani woman files a petition to get her statement recorded as a witness.

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Monday deferred its verdict in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case in Haryana’s Panipat district to March 14.

The court deferred the verdict after a petition was filed by a Pakistani woman to get statement of witnesses recorded from her country.

Petitioner

NIA counsel Rajan Malhotra told reporters that the petition was filed through an advocate on behalf of Rahila Wakeel, a Pakistani national, after which judge Jagdeep Singh posted the matter to March 14.

Ms. Wakeel, daughter of one of the victims of the blast, has claimed that there is evidence relevant to the case, which needs to be recorded. The application sought to summon witnesses from Pakistan.

Swami Aseemanand, the main accused, was present in the court amid high security. Three other accused, Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma, were also present.

The NIA, in its chargesheet, had named eight persons as accused in the case. Besides the four who appeared before the court, three other accused including Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Amit have been declared proclaimed offenders and are absconding. The other accused in the case Sunil Joshi, the alleged mastermind of the attack, was killed in December 2007.

The blasts on the Samjhauta Express, near Panipat, on February 18, 2007, and the subsequent fire in the coaches killed 68 passengers and injured a dozen. Those killed included Indian civilians and government officials. A large number of Pakistani nationals were also killed and injured.

The initial investigation was carried out by the Government Railway Police and the Haryana police. The Union Home Ministry handed over the probe to the NIA in July 2010.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:32:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/samjhauta-blast-case-special-court-reserves-verdict-next-hearing-on-march-14/article26497430.ece

Next Story