Pakistan on Wednesday summoned the Indian High Commissioner to register a strong protest and condemnation after a special NIA court acquitted all four accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case, in which a total of 68 people were killed, including 43 Pakistani citizens.
All the four accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary were acquitted by the court. “The NIA Special Court has concluded that the investigating agency has failed to prove the conspiracy charge and ruled that accused deserve a benefit of the doubt,” NIA Counsel RK Handa said.
On February 18 in 2007, an IED blast was carried out in the Samjhauta train – which runs between Delhi and Lahore – at Panipat in Haryana. According to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the terror blast was carried out in pursuance to a criminal conspiracy aimed at threatening the “unity, integrity, security and sovereignty” of India.
In the Samjhauta case, the NIA has said that Aseemanand was the main ideological support behind the conspiracy and also provided some financial support to those accused who carried out the task besides knowingly providing shelter to them.
68 people including 43 Pakistan citizens, 10 Indian citizens and 15 unidentified people were killed in the blast. 64 out of the total killed were civil passengers and 4 were Railways officials. 12 people including 10 Pakistanis and two Indians were also injured in the terrorist attack. A number of train coaches were also burnt in the resultant fire.