Rajendra Chaudhary, a suspect in the planting of bombs in Pakistan-bound Samjhauta Express which killed 68 people, was today sent to 12-day custody of the National Investigation Agency(NIA) by a court here.
Chaudhary was arrested by NIA from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh on December 15 from where he had been brought to Panchkula, near Chandigarh, on transit remand.
Official sources said Chaudhary, also known as Samundar and who carried a reward of Rs. five lakh, will be in NIA custody till December 28.
Chaudhary is being considered as a prize catch by the agency which is probing the case.
It is the fourth arrest in the case. The NIA has already arrested Kamal Chauhan, Aseemanand and Lokesh Sharma for their alleged involvement in the blast.
The bomb blasts in the Samjhauta Express near Panipat, Haryana on February 18, 2007 and the consequent fire in the train coaches had resulted in the loss of 68 lives and injuries to 12 train passengers including women and children.
The initial investigation into the bomb blast was conducted by the Government Railway Police and Special Investigation Team of Haryana Police and subsequently NIA took over the case on July 29, 2010 following a directive by the Home Ministry.
NIA had on June 20, 2011 filed a chargesheet before the special court under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against five accused -- Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji.
Dange and Kalasangra are reportedly absconding.
The investigating agency had in August this year also filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case against disgruntled RSS worker Kamal Chauhan and his associate Amit in a special court at Panchkula charging them with murder, conspiracy and other offences.
According to official sources, Chaudhary was also allegedly involved in planting a bomb at Mecca-Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 in which nine people were killed. Five more died thereafter in clashes with the police. A cell phone-controlled pipe bomb had gone off at the historical Masjid during Friday prayers.