Former RSS worker Kamal Chauhan, arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Noida on February 12, confessed to the media on Tuesday that he planted a bomb on the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express that killed 68 people in February 2007.
“I carried out the blasts. I did it of my own accord,” he said while leaving a special court after the hearing of his remand plea.
His public confession could strengthen the NIA’s case that Hindu extremist groups had conspired and executed the blasts on the Samjhauta Express that killed mostly Pakistani civilians.
One of the main accused in the case, Swami Aseemanand, alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, had confessed to his role in the attack after his arrest by the CBI in November 2010 but later retracted his statement, saying it was made under duress.
According to the NIA, the conspiracy involved six persons: Lokesh Sharma who planted the bombs in the train along with Chauhan; mastermind Sunil Joshi, who was murdered in December 2007; Aseemanand, the financier and ideologue; and Sandeep Dange, a close associate of Joshi, who along with Ramchandra Kalsangre had procured the raw material and made the bombs. Dange and Kalsangre are still at large.
Chauhan was part of an aggressive group of like-minded youths frustrated with the “changing ideologies” of RSS leaders. This group was formed by Joshi, a former RSS zila pracharak in Madhya Pradesh.
Rubbishing the charges against Chauhan, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said, “There are certain people who have confessed because of NIA torture and they have gone back on their confession.”