New witness: Months before Samjhauta,saw detonators like those used in attackhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/new-witness-months-before-samjhauta-saw-detonators-like-those-used-in-attack/

New witness: Months before Samjhauta,saw detonators like those used in attack

NIA has recorded the statement of this witness,Rohit Jha of Dumka.

An RSS sympathiser in Jharkhand has told investigators that months before the February 2007 terrorist attack on the Samjhauta Express,he had seen detonators similar to the ones used in the bombings with two key accused at the Sangh office in Mihijam in the state.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has recorded the statement of this witness,Rohit Jha of Dumka. Jha has told the NIA that the detonators were procured from Ranchi by Devendra Gupta and Ramji Kalsangra.

Gupta was arrested by the Rajasthan ATS on April 30,2010,in connection with the Ajmer dargah blast of October 2007. The NIA will soon seek his custody for interrogation in the light of recent developments,sources in the Home Ministry said. Kalsangra remains at large.

Jha told the NIA that he first met Gupta at an RSS camp in Dumka in December 2003,and kept in touch thereafter. His statement to the NIA describes the situation in which he claims to have seen the detonators in Mihijam.

Advertising

“Ramji put a packet on bed which was wrapped with Hindi newspaper containing detonator connecting with electric wires. Then I asked Devender Gupta from where they were coming,but he did not tell and only smiled. Later,I came to know they were coming from Ranchi after meeting one Manoj (RSS activist at Ranchi not Sunil Joshi),” reads Jha’s statement to the NIA.

Sunil Joshi,an RSS pracharak,was shot dead in Madhya Pradesh’s Devas town in December 2007.

“After that Devender Gupta put the packet containing detonators in a bag in the adjacent room which is used as a store. On showing the photograph of detonator by NIA,mentioning that it was used as in Samjhauta train blasts,I can recall and confirm that exactly the same electric detonator I saw with Gupta and Ramji,” reads the statement.

In its chargesheet filed last year,the NIA had said that the Samjhauta attackers used a “different kind of bomb”,built by the main accused,Sandeep Dange.

Kamal Chauhan,a former RSS worker who was arrested on February 12,2012,has given the NIA details of how the bombs were planted on the train at Old Delhi railway station. According to his revelations,reported first by The Indian Express on February 18,he,along with Lokesh Sharma and two other men,planted four suitcase bombs on the Samjhauta. Sixty-eight people,mostly Pakistanis,were killed.

Lokesh is in jail; the names of the other two,both absconding,have now been revealed as Amit Chauhan and Rajendra Pehalwan. Amit,who carries a reward of Rs 2 lakh,had stayed with him in Dhanbad in 2008,Jha has claimed in his statement.

“…On October 12,2008,I reached Dhanbad and waited for the person who was supposed to join me. One person namely Amit Chauhan said to be resident of MP aged about 25 years joined me… He used to stammer while speaking… After shifting to a house in Dhanbad,Sandeep Dange and Ramji came to this house after few days and started living with us. Whole day they used to read newspaper regarding news of Pragya Thakur. At that time,I also saw 7/8 photographs of other persons with them. Ramji also got one driving license from Dhanbad in the name of Babban,” reads Jha’s statement.

“…Amit also purchased some pellets used in bicycle though he never bought it in my presence. I also saw Rs 20-25000 with Amit who used to bear all the expenses. Amit also visited a Masjid in Dhanbad near the railway station and purchased some books and calendars in Urdu. He also used to read Urdu newspaper,” Jha said.

Jha told the NIA that he dissociated himself from Gupta and the other accused after Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested in October 2008.