Samjhauta blasts case: NIA court summons 13 Pakistan nationals for hearing | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Samjhauta blasts case: NIA court summons 13 Pakistan nationals for hearing

india Updated: Mar 18, 2017 00:50 IST
HT Correspondent
Samjhauta blasts case

BSF jawan and police watching the Samjhauta Express crossing the Zero area of the India-Pakistan Border at Gurdaspur at Attari near Amritsar.(HT File Photo)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court here, which is hearing Samjhauta blasts case, summoned 13 Pakistani nationals on Friday.These people are those who were either travelling on the train on that fateful day or are next of kin who died in the blasts.

The blasts on Samjhauta Express train had taken place on February 18, 2007, killing 68 people, mostly Pakistanis. The train was targeted as Pakistani Muslims used to travel by it, as per NIA chargesheet.

“It is not clear whether they (13 Pakistani nationals) will come to depose at Panchkula or some other place near the border. The information will be sent to them through a proper channel. They will be called from July 4 to July 7,” said Rajan Malhotra, NIA counsel.

Meanwhile, in support to NIA, two videojournalists on Friday told the court here that when Kamal Chauhan, one of the accused in Samjhauta blasts case, was produced in Panchkula district courts he confessed to have conducted the blasts.

One of the witnesses was a cameraperson with NDTV and another with Asian News International (ANI). The footage of that day was played in the court as well.

“Ashwini Kaushal, who is a cameraperson with ANI, told the court that on February 14, 2012, when a reporter asked Kamal Chauhan whether he was involved in Samjhauta blasts, he said he did the blast as his own wish,” informed Rajan Malhotra, counsel for NIA. He added that similar statement was given by Arpit Jaiswal, who works as a cameraperson with NDTV.

Along with Kamal Chauhan, the other accused included Aseemanand, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma. There were four more accused in the case — Sunil Joshi, who was murdered on December 29, 2007, Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra Kalsangre and Amit alias Ashwani Chauhan — who are absconding.

Sharma, Chaudhary and Chauhan have planted bombs in Samjhauta train as per NIA. Sharma and Aseemanand have been recently acquitted in Ajmer Dargah blast case. A number of witnesses in Samjhauta blasts case have turned hostile so far.