NIA files supplementary charge sheet in Samjhauta blasts case

NIA on Thursday filed a supplementary chargesheet in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blasts case accusing two persons of planting bombs.

Chandigarh: NIA on Thursday filed a supplementary chargesheet in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blasts case accusing two persons, including a disgruntled RSS worker Kamal Chauhan, of planting bombs along with their associates in the Indo-Pak train which claimed the lives of 68 people, mostly Pakistanis.

The charge sheet was filed against Chauhan alias Bhai Saab alias Badrinarayan alias Lucky alias Vijay and Amit alias Ashwani Chauhan alias Prince alias Hakla alias Ashok alias Tutalla in a special court at Panchkula charging them with murder, conspiracy and other offences.

"We have filed the supplementary charge sheet in the case. Kamal Chauhan and Amit, who is absconding, along with Rajendra Pehalwan (Choudhary) and Lokesh Sharma not only conspired in carrying out the crime, but also planted the bombs," R K Handa, NIA`s Special Public Prosecutor in the Samjhauta case, said.

He said that while Lokesh and Kamal are lodged in judicial custody, Amit and Rajendra are absconding.

The charge sheet was filed before Additional Sessions Judge Kanchan Mahi. Charges have been slapped against the accused under various provisions of the law including 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120-B of the IPC (relating to conspiracy), Section 345 of the Explosives Substances Act, Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act and Protection of Railway Properties Act, Handa informed.

The bomb blasts in the Attari Express (Samjhauta) train near Panipat, Haryana on February 18, 2007 and the consequent fire in the train coaches had resulted in the loss of 68 lives and injuries to 12 train passengers including women and children.

NIA had on June 20, 2011 filed a charge-sheet before the special court under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against five accused -- Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Asimanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji.

The initial investigation into the bomb blast was conducted by the Government Railway Police and Special Investigation Team of Haryana Police and subsequently. NIA took over the case on July 29, 2010 following a directive by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Investigation had brought out that Asimanand was quite upset with Jehadi or terrorist attacks on temples - Akshardham (Gujarat), Raghunath Mandir (Jammu) and Sankat Mochan Mandir (Varanasi).

"He used to `give vent to` his feelings while discussing with Sunil Joshi and his associates. Over a period of time, they developed a deep vengeance against not only the Jehadi terrorists but unfortunately against an entire minority community as such.

"As a result, Asimanand propounded a `bomb ka badla bomb` theory. Samjhauta train was particularly chosen, as most of the passengers who travel in it are Pakistani citizens," the statement added.

Asimanand not only provided financial and logistical support to the terror group which executed this dastardly act but also played a vital role in instigating and motivating his associates to undertake this terrorist act, it said.

Sandeep Dange, Ramji and Lokesh Sharma and others under the leadership of Sunil Joshi were instrumental in not only procuring the raw materials for Improvised Explosive Devices(IED) but also getting these fabricated and planted in the target.

"Investigation had brought out strong suspicion about the role of some more persons in the conspiracy as well and therefore further investigation in the case was continued after filing of the first chargesheet against 5 accused ( 2 in judicial custody, 1 dead, 2 absconding)," the statement said.

Today`s supplementary chargesheet is in continuation of the NIA`s first chargesheet.

"Efforts are being made to arrest the absconders like Ramji Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange, Amit and also to locate Samundar,(who is the prime suspect in the case)," the statement added.

NIA has declared a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for Kalsangra and Dange and Rs 5 lakh each for Amit and Rajender Choudhary for any information leading to their arrest.

The Samjhauta Express (Attari Express) is a bi-weekly train that runs on Wednesdays and Sundays, between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan.

The train has played a vital role in improving people-to -people contacts between India and Pakistan.