Probe links Swami to Samjhauta blast | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Probe links Swami to Samjhauta blast

Investigators are hoping that with the arrest of Jatin Chatterjee alias Swami Aseemanand they can crack the Samjhauta Express train blast case. The blast on February 18, 2007, killed 68 people. Rajesh Ahuja reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 21, 2010 23:32 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

Investigators are hoping that with the arrest of Jatin Chatterjee alias Swami Aseemanand they can crack the Samjhauta Express train blast case. The blast on February 18, 2007, killed 68 people.

Clues point towards Aseemanand and his gang's involvement in the blast. The CBI arrested Aseemanand from Haridwar on November 19.

According to investigators, Aseemanand and his followers met from February 11 -13 in 2006 in Dangs area of Gujarat.

Assemanand had organised a Shabaridham Kumbh during the period. Sunil Joshi alias Manoj, Pragya Singh Thakur, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Shivam Dhakad, Sandeep Dange and others participated.

Some participants spoke about avenging the attack on Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi. After deliberation, the participants decided to bomb Samjahuta Express apart from Mecca Masjid, Dargah Ajmer Sharif and Malegaon. Aseemanand approved the plan.

Two follow-up meetings were held in March and April 2006 in Indore at Ramji Kalsangra's house. Investigators have gathered evidence that confirm a strong Indore link with the perpetrators of Samjhauta blast. The material used to make bombs for Samjhauta blasts was procured from Indore.

Though initial probe had hinted a Lashkar-e-Tayyeba hand behind the Samjhauta blasts, the arrest of Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit by Maharashtra ATS in 2008 changed the line of investigation. Purohit had first hinted at Aseemanand's involvement in Samjhauta blasts.

As of now, Aseemanand and his associates are in custody - Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt. Colonel Purohit were arrested in connection with the Malegaon blast, Devendra Gupta and Lokesh Sharma for Ajmer blast.

Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalsangra are on the run. Sunil Joshi was murdered in Dewas in December 2007. Joshi had allegedly played a major role in all the actions planned by Aseemanand.

Aseemanand's questioning could also shed light on the Joshi murder case.