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NIA court defers hearing of Samjhauta Express blast case for March 20


New Delhi, Mar 18: A Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Panchkula on Monday adjourned the Samjahuta Express blast case hearing on March 20.

On March 11, the court had posted the matter for March 13 after taking the woman's plea on record and issued a notice to the NIA to respond to her plea. On Thursday, a Pakistani national moved an application asking to depose in the court. The NIA has been asked to respond to the application.

NIA court defers hearing of Samjhauta Express blast case for March 20

On February 18, 2007, an explosion had occurred in Samjhauta Express in Panipat district of Haryana, claiming the lives of around 68 persons.

Samjhauta express blast: Twist, turns and when the US blamed Lashkar

Out of the deceased, 33 were male, 19 were female, 10 were male children, and 6 were female children.

Initially, SIMI activists were believed to be behind the blast, but, later, it turned out to be a handiwork of a group having right-wing leanings.

NIA has filed a charge sheet against several people, including Swami Aseemanand, who recently walked free in the Ajmer Dargah blast case.

It had on June 20, 2011 filed the charge sheet before the special court at Panchkula under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against five accused persons Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji.

The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy which resulted in bomb blasts in the Attari Express (Samjhauta) train near Panipat.

The investigation conducted by the NIA over a period of almost one year established that the entire conspiracy was hatched between 2005 and 2007 by Aseemanand, Joshi and their associates like Ramji, Sandeep Dange, Lokesh Sharma and others at different places including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

The NIA investigation further brought out that Aseemanand was quite upset with the jihadi/terrorist attacks on temples Akshardham (Gujarat), Raghunath Mandir (Jammu) and Sankat Mochan Mandir (Varanasi).

He used to "give vent to" his feelings while discussing it with Joshi and his associates.

Samjauta Express blasts: A timeline

As a result, Aseemanand propounded a "bomb ka badla bomb" theory, according to NIA.

The Samjhauta train was particularly chosen, as most of the passengers who travel in it are Pakistani citizens, it said.

The trail in the case is in advanced stage.

The Samjhauta Express (Attari Express) is a bi-weekly train that runs on Wednesdays and Sundays - between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan.

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