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Court declares accused as offenders in Samjhauta case

The special National Investigation Agency court declared the two absconding accused in the Samjhauta blasts case as proclaimed offenders today.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2011 18:19 IST
HT correspondent
HT correspondent
Hindustan Times

The special National Investigation Agency court declared the two absconding accused in the Samjhauta blasts case as proclaimed offenders, here on Friday.

Besides hearing the two accused, namely Swami Asimanand and Lokesh Sharma who were presented before NIA court judge Subhash Mehla, the court declared Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra aka Ramji as proclaimed offenders and also instructed the NIA to provide the documents which had been asked by the defence, on the next hearing scheduled on July 18.

Importantly enough, the NIA counsel also stated before the court that a supplementary chargesheet in the case would be filed in near future.

It may be recalled that the NIA had already announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each on the absconding Ramji and Sandeep Dange and Rs 2 lakh on another accused Amit aka Prince, also a key suspect.

The first five named accused had been chargesheeted for criminal conspiracy and terror attack, which resulted in bomb blasts in the Samjhauta Express train near Panipat, Haryana on February 18, 2007, that killed 68 train passengers and injured 12 others. The Samjhauta Express (also known as Attari Express), a bi-weekly train between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan, has also played a vital role in improving the people-to-people contacts between India and Pakistan.

The initial investigation into the bomb blasts was done by GRP and SIT Haryana Police and subsequently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs handed over the case to NIA on July 27, 2010.

The NIA probe held that Dange, Ramji and Lokesh and others under the leadership of Sunil Joshi were instrumental in not only procuring the raw materials for Improvised Explosive Devices(IED) but also getting these fabricated and planted in the train.

The NIA conducted investigations in various parts of the country including Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh and held that the conspiracy was hatched was hatched between 2005 and 2007 by the accused Swami Asimanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead) and his associates like Ramji, Dange, Lokesh Sharma mainly at Indore (Madhya Pradesh).

Defence negates
However, the defence lawyer in the case, held that the reason behind handing over the case investigation by Haryana government to Central government had not been made part of the chargesheet, which raised doubts whether the case was being fairly probed into. The investigation which was carried out by GRP and SIT Haryana has been selectively used by the NIA, the defence counsel Ajay Kaushik said and alleged that the NIA had fabricated the facts of the case on the basis of alleged or procured or doctored statement of Swami Asimanand recorded under section 164 Cr PC. The NIA had also totally blacked out the initial inputs provided by the intelligence agencies to the Central Government where it was specifically stated that the Samjhauta train bomb blast was handiwork of ISI and SIMI, he added. Some of the persons who were involved in hatching conspiracy of killing senior RSS workers had been made witnesses in the present case, he added.

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