Samjhauta blast accused Aseemanand granted interim bail to meet ailing mother

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 30, 2015 17:47 IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday granted a ten day interim bail to Aseemanand, main accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blasts case. The parole was granted on the grounds of his mother being extremely sick.

The blasts had occurred near Dewana railway station in Panipat district of Haryana, killing 68 people, mostly from Pakistan, and injuring 12.

Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Aseemanand is at present lodged in Ambala central jail.

‘Bomb ka badla bomb’

Aseemanand was born in Hooghly district of West Bengal. A leader of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) offshoot Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, he was shown as an ideologue and financier behind the blasts in the chargesheets submitted at the special NIA court, Panchkula.

As per the chargesheets, Aseemanand was upset about Islamic jihadi/terrorist attacks on Hindu temples such as Akshardham (Gujarat), Raghunath Mandir (Jammu) and Sankat Mochan Mandir (Varanasi). He expressed his anger during discussions with Sunil Joshi (now murdered), Pragya Singh Thakur and Bharat Bhai, a close disciple. All of them discussed the attacks and over time, they developed (a desire for) vengeance not only against the misguided jihadi terrorists but against the whole Muslim community. Aseemanand put forward a ‘bomb ka badla bomb’ theory.

Twin explosions

Two explosions on the Attari Express (Samjhauta) train near Dewana railway station in Panipat on the intervening night of February 18 and 19, 2007, had caused a fire on the train, resulting in the death of 68 passengers and injuries to 12 persons. The train was on its way to Lahore (Pakistan).

The other key accused in the case are RSS activists Lokesh Sharma, Amit Hakla alias Prince, Kamal Chauhan and Rajendra Pehalwan, who planted four improvised explosive device (IEDs) on the train. Of these, only two exploded. Except Amit, who is on the run, all accused are in Ambala central jail.

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