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Samjhauta blasts: NIA identifies four bomb planters

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday submitted a supplementary chargesheet against Kamal Chauhan (28), and Amit (around 26) before special judge, NIA, Kanchan Mahi in the Samjhauta Express blasts case.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2012 22:23 IST
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Hindustan Times

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday submitted a supplementary chargesheet against Kamal Chauhan (28), and Amit (around 26) before special judge, NIA, Kanchan Mahi in the Samjhauta Express blasts case.

The chargesheet has named Lokesh Sharma, Amit, Chauhan and Rajender Chaudhary as the bomb planters. Chauhan and Chaudhary are residents of Depalpur (Indore). Amit as well as Chaudhary are absconding.

On February 18, 2007, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had exploded on the Lahore-bound train near Dewana railway station, Panipat (Haryana), killing 68 people and injuring 12. Most of the victims were Pakistanis.

The first chargesheet, submitted on June 20, 2011, had mentioned the names of Aseemanand and Sharma (in judicial custody), Sunil Joshi (murdered on December 29, 2007), Sandeep Dange and Ramchander Kalsangra (absconding). Aseemanand and Sharma are also facing trial in the Mecca Masjid blasts at Hyderabad (May 18, 2007) and Rajasthan's Ajmer Sharif blast (October 11, 2007).

As per the second chargesheet, "Sunil Joshi, a resident of Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, was the mastermind who planned and coordinated execution of the bomb blasts on Samjhauta Express with the assistance of close associates Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Lokesh Sharma in furtherance of the conspiracy entered into by Aseemanand and other co-accused in the case."

Chauhan was arrested on February 12 this year from Noida (Uttar Pradesh). It was established that Chauhan, Chaudhary and Dhan Singh had been Sharma's accomplices. It was also revealed that Chauhan, Chaudhary and Dhan Singh absconded from Depalpur in Indore district after Sharma's arrest in May 2010. During the investigation, it was revealed that Chauhan was involved in planting the suitcase bombs on Samjhauta Express on February 18, 2007 along with Sharma, Chaudhary and Amit.

Meanwhile, Naveen Kaushik, counsel for Chauhan, said, "It is an incomplete chargesheet. Chauhan is entitled to bail. We will file an application for bail. There is nothing to corroborate the allegations made against him."

As per the supplementary chargesheet, Chauhan, Kalsangra, Sharma, Amit, Chaudhary etc. attended training in Bagli forest of Madhya Pradesh's Dewas district in January 2006. The training, organised by Joshi, was about preparing pipe bombs and pistol firing. After the training, the participants decided to attack Muslim-dominated places and religious sites in order to retaliate for the attacks on Hindu temples and Indian cities by Jehadi terrorist groups. Chauhan, Joshi, Sharma, Amit and Chaudhary also participated in firing practice organised by Joshi at Karni Singh firing range at Faridabad in April 2006.

Chauhan was radicalised and motivated by Sharma to avenge attacks on Hindu temples and Indian cities by Jehadi Muslim terrorist groups. The call data record corroborates the association of Chauhan with Sharma, according to the chargesheet.

The chargesheet says that Chauhan, along with Chaudhary, conducted a reconnaissance of Jama Masjid and Old Delhi railway station during November/December, 2006 as instructed by Sharma. They reached Delhi by Indore Intercity Express on fake names and returned the same day. They informed Sharma that there were adequate security arrangements at Jama Masjid, while there was no security available at Old Delhi railway station and therefore exploding bombs on Samjhauta Express could be easier and safer than planting a bomb at Jama Masjid, the chargesheet adds.

Bomb planting
The chargesheet states that on Sharma's instructions, Chauhan and Chaudhary reached Indore on February 17, 2007, and went to a room in Sarvsampan Nagar, where Amit and Kalsangra were already present. Kalsangra delivered four suitcases - one each to Sharma, Amit, Chaudhary and Chauhan - containing the IEDs, which were later planted on Samjhauta Express. This was the room where Chauhan had assisted Amit in sealing the bottles filled with inflammable fuel oil, which were later used with the IEDs in the train blasts.

It was further revealed during the investigation that Sharma, Amit, Chaudhary and Chauhan boarded Indore Intercity Express train at Indore railway station on February 17, 2007, and the next day reached Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station, from where they took a local train and reached Old Delhi railway station. The planters reached Jaipur by train after planting the bomb on Samjhauta Express and then to Indore by bus.

Feb 18, 2007
Two blasts take place on Samjhauta Express at 11:53pm near Diwana railway station in Panipat (Haryana)

Casualties (64 passengers, 4 railway officials)

First Published: Aug 09, 2012 19:28 IST