THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) Monday opposed the bail application moved by Lokesh Sharma who allegedly planted bombs in the 2007 Samjhauta Express train bomb blasts case.
“In view of the gravity of the offence, i.e. bomb blasts in the Samjhauta Express train, in which 68 persons got killed, three accused still absconding and the role and complicity of Lokesh Sharma, the application for bail may be dismissed in the interest of justice,” the NIA has submitted before the special NIA court at Panchkula.
The court was informed that during the investigation it has been revealed that the criminal conspiracy to set off blast in the Samjhauta Express train by planting IEDs/bombs was hatched and executed by a group of accused persons including the appellant, Lokesh Sharma.
The special NIA judge Gulab Singh has now posted the case for arguments on July 29.
The blasts had occurred near Dewana railway station in Panipat district of Haryana, killing 68 people, mostly from Pakistan, and injuring 12 on the intervening night of February 18 and 19, 2007. The train was on its way from Delhi to Lahore in Pakistan.
Out of the total eight accused in the case, four have been arrested and Sharma was arrested on June 18, 2011.
Sharma along with other three accused, namely Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chauhan and Rajender Choudhary, are confined in Ambala central jail. One accused Sunil Joshi is dead and other three, namely Ramchander Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Ramesh Venkat Mahalar alias Amit are still at large.
Trial in the case is at advanced stage and till date the proceedings with regard to 214 out of a total of 299 witnesses have been completed, NIA informed the court.