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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Samjhauta blasts: Human rights NGO says 2 accused being abused

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Panchkula, July 06, 2013
First Published: 23:47 IST(6/7/2013) | Last Updated: 23:50 IST(6/7/2013)

A Delhi-based pro-Hindu non-government organisation (NGO) raised the issue of alleged abuse of two Samjhauta blast accused, at a press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday.

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The trial of the accused is going on at the Panchkula-based National Investigation Agency (NIA) court. On February 18, 2007, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had exploded on the Lahore-bound Samjhauta Express near Dewana railway station, Panipat (Haryana), killing 68 people and injuring 12. Most of the victims were Pakistanis.

Human Rights Bharatiya Security Council (HRBSC) produced members of families of the two accused who narrated the abuse their kin were subjected to.

"While in custody, my brother Rajinder Chaudhary was not allowed to sleep. He was given liquor when he asked for water," said Shravan Chaudhary, a resident of Madhya Pradesh.

He said ASP Vishal Garg, investigating officer of the Samjhauta blasts case, used to threaten us over phone to pressurise Rajinder to confess to the crime.

"My son Kamal Chauhan was abused, tied up and then beaten up to obtain his confession," said Radhey Shyam, a resident of Madhya Pradesh. He said: "Kamal was a farmer and was part of a cow protection committee."

JP Sharma, member of the NGO, said that Swami Aseemanand was targeted because he was into re-conversion of Chiristians. "Sadhvi Pragya Thakur was abused in jail for her alleged involvement in Malegaon blasts," he said. Regarding Rajinder Chaudhary, he said that as he was visiting shakha, he was picked up. "It was never questioned from where the RDX came. He was brought through a plane and arrested. He was brutally tortured in the custody," Sharma said.

Anil Soni, another member of the NGO, said: "They (blast accused) are nationalists. A particular community is being appeased. The majority community is being targeted…The press is writing about only the other community. Please take the guts. Be national. The NIA chief is going to become National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member. This is the state of affairs. We need to show our faces to the world."

The NIA has filed chargesheets against eight persons: Aseemanand (arrested), Ramchandra Kalsangra (absconding), Sandeep Dange (absconding), Sunil Joshi (since dead), Lokesh Sharma (arrested), Amit (absconding), Kamal Chauhan (arrested) and Rajinder Chaudhary (arrested) in the Samjhauta blasts case.

At the press conference, Chaudhary's counsel Padamkant Diwedi and Chauhan's counsel Naveen Kaushik, along with HRBSC's local president Jasjot Singh, were present.

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