Will move to international forums against acquittal of Samjhauta Express bombing suspects, says Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday said it is considering to move international forums against the acquittal of the 2007 Samjhauta train blast case suspects that left 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, dead.

The blast in Samjhauta Express took place near Panipat in Haryana on February 18, 2007, when the train was on its way to Attari in Amritsar, the last railway station on the Indian side.

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Haryana’s Panchkula on March 20 acquitted Naba Kumar Sarkar, alias Swami Aseemanand, and three other accused in the case.

The court acquitted the accused, saying that the National Investigative Agency failed miserably to establish their guilt.

NIA special judge Jagdeep Singh also dismissed the plea of a Pakistani woman for examining eyewitnesses from her country, saying the plea was “devoid of merit.”

Reacting to the news, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal told a weekly media briefing, “Swami Aseemanand, the mastermind who confessed to this heinous act of terrorism before a magistrate, was acquitted. Such a decision cast aspersions on the credibility of the Indian judicial system,”

He said Pakistan has been regularly raising this issue with India, especially “after the acquittal to which India has no reply”. “Presently, we are considering different options to take up this case with the relevant international forums,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention that in the case against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, BJP’s Bhopal candidate facing trial under terror charges for the Malegaon 2008 attack in which 6 people were killed, Aseemanand is also named.

In December 2010, the CBI had arrested Aseemanand (Naba Kumar Sarkar), who had confessed before a magistrate that the Malegaon blasts of 2006 and 2008 were carried out by radical Hindu groups as “revenge against jihadi terrorism”.

In the case in which Sadhvi Pragya is facing trial, Aseemanand had said that the plan to target Muslims was hatched by a group led by former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi.

He had said the group was behind the Samjhauta Express, Ajmer Dargah and Mecca Masjid blasts of 2007. Aseemanand subsequently retracted his statement, and has now been acquitted of all charges.


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