Seven years after Samjhauta Express blasts, a court in Panchkula on Friday framed murder, sedition and other charges against right wing Hindu activist Swami Aseemanand and three others paving the way for start of trial.
Additional Sessions Judge Gurbinder Kaur framed charges against Aseemanand and his co-accused – Kamal Chand, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma – who were present in the court, CBI counsel R K Handa said.
The chargesheet in the case was filed in 2011, four years after the incident took place.
Sections 120 (criminal conspiracy) read with 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous means), 327 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort property) and 124 A (sedition) of Indian Penal Code are among 18 offences the four accused have been charged with.
They will also face trial under various sections of Railways Act, Explosives Substances Act, Prevention Damage of Public Property Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Handa said.
The case is posted for February 24 and 25 for next hearing.
Two suitcase bombs had exploded in Samjhauta express, a twice-a-week train service between Delhi and Lahore, on February 18, 2007, killing 68 people mostly Pakistanis.
259 churches and institutes under protection after recent spate of attacks.