Aseemanand remanded to 14 days judicial custody

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Panchkula (Haryana), Jan 13 (PTI) Swami Aseemanand,the main accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast, wastoday remanded to 14 days judicial custody by a court here.

The counsel for the right-wing Hindu group AbhinavBharat member said the National Investigation Agency (NIA)told the court that it do not require further custody of theaccused as it has completed its investigation.

However, the NIA moved an application before the courtof Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) for recording Aseemanand''sstatement.

The NIA had last month brought Aseemanand, who is alsoan accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast, from Hyderabad andproduced him in a court here on December 23 which firstremanded him in one-day custody of NIA as the judge of thedesignated court was on leave that day.

After expiry of his one-day custody on December 24, hewas produced in the court of NIA Special Judge Ritu Garg whohad further remanded him in NIA''s custody till today.

The hearing in the case took place in-camera in thecourt as the NIA had earlier moved an application in thisregard keeping in view the "sensitivity" of the case.

The NIA, which had recently sought production warrantof Aseemanand from a court here, had sought further remand ofthe Swami to extensively question him over his role in thetrain blast in Haryana''s Panipat district that left 68 peopledead.

Aseemanand was arrested by the Central Bureau ofInvestigation (CBI) on November 19 for his alleged involvementin the Mecca Masjid blast that left nine people dead.

He was earlier living under a fake identity inHaridwar and had also procured fake identity cards.

A post-graduate in Botany, Aseemanand, whose real nameis Jatin Chatterjee, hails from Hooghly district of WestBengal. He settled in the tribal-dominated Dangs area of southGujarat in late 1990s.

His name had also come up during the probe in theMalegaon blast of 2008 when Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squadrecovered the number of the Swami''s driver from Sadhvi PragyaSingh Thakur, another Abhinav Bharat member and an accused inthe Malegaon blast case.

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