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Aseemanand says he was ‘politically implicated’ in blast cases

Acquitted in two of the three blast cases, Aseemanand who is also a prime accused in the Samjhauta train blast case, says he has full faith in the judiciary.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2018 17:35 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Swami Aseemanand,Samjhauta blast case,Mecca Masjid blast case
Swami Aseemanand during a court appearance in Jaipur in connection with the 2007 Ajmer bomb blast case where he was acquitted. (PTI File Photo)

Swami Aseemanand who was acquitted earlier this week by a special NIA court in Hyderabad in the Mecca Masjid blast case said on Saturday said he had been politically implicated in that case as well as the Ajmer Dargah bombing and the Samjhauta blast case which is still in trial stage..

“I was politically implicated in the blast cases,” he told reporters after showing up for hearing in another special NIA court in Panchkula in the trial of the Samjhauta blast case where he is also a prime accused.

The Samjhauta blast case is the only pending case against him after his acquittal in Mecca Masjid case this week and the Ajmer Dargah bombing case in March last year.

Reacting for the first time after his acquittal in the Mecca Masjid blast case, Aseemanand said that truth has prevailed in the Hyderabad and Ajmer cases. “I have full faith in judicial system in the ongoing trial (Samjhauta blast) too,” he said.

While he kept mum on BJP’s West Bengal state unit chief Dilip Ghosh’s wish to rope him in to strengthen the party there, his counsel Manbir Rathi said that he was victim of political terrorism and verdict in the two cases - Hyderabad and Ajmer - proved that truth has won.

“Terrorism has no religion. While it should be condemned by every citizen, it was wrong to implicate people for political purposes,” Rathi said.

He said that in Samjhauta blast trial, 213 witnesses have been examined so far and about 30 witnesses are left to be examined.

On Saturday, two witnesses, both judicial officers were examined in the hearing. The court fixed the next date of hearing for May 4.

Sixty eight people, including 42 Pakistani passengers, were killed in the firebombing of Samjhauta Express that took place when the bi-weekly train, connecting Delhi and Attari at India-Pakistan border in Punjab, was crossing Panipat on the night of February 18, 2007.

The initial investigation was carried out by the Railway Police and the Haryana Police, but in 2010, the Centre handed over the probe to the NIA, which filed the charge sheet against alleged Hindu extremists Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji.

The court has not heard anything on the arrival of 13 witnesses from Pakistan. They were summoned in July and then in November last year to depose in this case but they did not turn up. The court has summoned them on August 3 now..

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 16:19 IST