Verdict in Samjhauta Express blast case likely today
Twelve years after improvised explosive devices (IEDs) set off blasts on board the Samjhauta Express — the India-Pakistan peace train — a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Panchkula is likely to pronounce the verdict in the case on Monday.
According to NIA investigations, the act that killed 68 persons, including Pakistanis, was committed using IEDs and inflammable substances, which caused blasts and fire in two coaches of the train near Panipat in Haryana on the night of February 18, 2007.
Among those killed were women and children.
Two unexploded suitcase bombs were found in other compartments of the train.
In its charge sheet, NIA named eight persons as the accused. Only four — Naba Kumar Sarkar, or Swami Aseemanand (out on bail); Lokesh Sharma (in judicial custody); Kamal Chauhan (in judicial custody); and Rajinder Chaudhary (in judicial custody) — will appear before the court on Monday when the verdict will be pronounced.
The alleged mastermind in the attack, Sunil Joshi, was killed in December 2007.
Three other accused —Ramchandra Kalsangra Sandeep Dange and Amit —are absconding.
The NIA charge sheet said investigations revealed that the accused were given training at Bagli in Dewas in Madhya Pradesh and Faridabad in Haryana for the preparation of the bomb and the firing of pistol.
The main charge sheet submitted by NIA in the court said Joshi was the mastermind who planned and coordinated the execution of the bomb blasts in the train with the assistance of his close associates — Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Lokesh Sharma —in conspiracy with Aseemanand and the other co-accused.