A special NIA court on Wednesday acquitted Swami Aseemanand and three others in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case.
“All the four accused persons were acquitted as the prosecution (NIA) failed to prove any of the charges against them,” defence lawyer Mukesh Garg told reporters here after the verdict of Special NIA Court Judge Jagdeep Singh.
Besides Swami Aseemanand, the others acquitted were Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary, Garg said.
Earlier in the day, the court dismissed an application filed by a Pakistani woman for examining eyewitnesses from her country in the blast case. The plea of Rahila Wakeel was filed by her lawyer Momin Malik.
“It is the duty of the lawyer to present all aspects and claims of his client. So I have presented my case well and highlighted the shortcomings of the Indian High Commission (in Pakistan) and also of its counterpart (in India),” Malik told the media.
On February 18, 2007, explosions hit the India-Pakistan trans-border Samjhauta Express in the Panipat area of Haryana and 68 people died in the blast.
Out of the deceased, 33 were male, 19 female and 16 children. Later, two unexploded bombs were also found from the site, the National Investigation Agency had said.
“This terrorist act was committed by using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along with the highly inflammable substances, which caused blasts and consequent fire in the compartments of the train no. 4001 up Attari (Samjhauta) Express at Panipat, Haryana,” the charge sheet read.
“The Samjhauta Express train blast case of 18.02.2007 was a ‘dreadful terrorist act’ in which two powerful bomb blasts were carried out by a group of people in pursuance of a criminal conspiracy with an intent to kill people and further to threaten the unity, integrity, security and sovereignty of India and to strike terror in the people of India and in a foreign country,” it said.
The charge sheet alleged that all the accused were agitated and perturbed over the attacks on Hindu temple cities and towns by the Islamic terrorist groups. In order to retaliate to such attacks, the accused persons conspired to target the Muslim population, it claimed.
Accused Rajendra Chaudhary conspired, planned and executed the attack along with other suspects, it alleged. They planted bombs in the train along with other co-accused persons on February 18, it said.
Investigation clearly established that the terrorist blasts in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif were carried out by the accused persons in pursuance to a criminal conspiracy, it said.