Samjhauta blasts: Aseemanand to furnish bail bonds
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court here on Friday allowed Aseemanand, 79, one of the alleged masterminds in the Samjhauta blasts case, to furnish bail bonds to secure his bail.india Updated: Sep 17, 2016 16:34 IST
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court here on Friday allowed Aseemanand, 79, one of the alleged masterminds in the Samjhauta blasts case, to furnish bail bonds to secure his bail.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had granted bail to Aseemanand on August 28, 2014. The bail petition was allowed by the division bench comprising justices SS Saron and Lisa Gill on the ground that Aseemanand was around 77 years old (now 79), spent considerable time in jail and the trial before the court at Panchkula would take a long time to conclude.
According to Aeemanand’s lawyer Mukesh Garg, he did not apply for confirming his bail earlier as he was also facing Ajmer blasts case in Jaipur and Mecca Masjid blasts case at Hyderabad. Had he submitted the bail bonds, he would have to stay back in jail because of other cases.
“But now, the judgment in Ajmer blasts case could be pronounced in the next 2 months. We are also filing bail application in Hyderabad also,” added Garg.
Another counsel for Aseemanand, Manbir Singh Rathi, said, “After the bail, Ambala jail cannot keep him. He would be moved to Jaipur. In Mecca Masjid blasts case he has exemption from personal hearing. So, now he would stay at Jaipur.”
The high court had ordered in 2014 for depositing two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each. Finally on Friday, two Panchkula residents agreed to become his sureties.
The CBI had arrested Aseemanand on November 18, 2010 and since then he has been in jail. The blasts had taken place on Samjhuata train near Panipat on February 18, 2007, killing 68 people, mostly Pakistanis.
Two more witnesses turn hostile
Meanwhile, over 25 witnesses have turned hostile in the case. NIA counsel Rajan Malhotra said three witnesses appeared on Friday and two of them resiled from their earlier statememts.
“Rajesh Kumar Mishra of Dhar district (Madhya Pradesh) has been running a factory fabricating metal sheets. Earlier, he had said that Sunil Joshi and Sandeep Dange had come for getting metal pipes moulded. These were later used in the bombs. But he resiled from the statement. These pipes had been placed before the court. He also denied that he had any links with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Though he identified and agreed that he knew Lokesh Sharma. He added that they were falsely implicated in a murder case but later got acquitted,” informed NIA counsel Rajan Malhotra.
There was one more witness, Shivnarayan Patel of Indore, who turned hostile. “He was to submit about association of Kamal Chauhan with the RSS and his camps but resiled,” he added.