No links with Samjhauta bomber: Aseemanand
Panchkula: Swami Aseemanand, under arrest in connection with right-wing terror acts, on Wednesday denied any links with Kamal Chauhan, the alleged Samjhauta Express bomb planter.
Aseemanand denied knowing Chauhan when he was produced before the court today.
“I don’t know him…it is a conspiracy by the agency (NIA),” he told mediapersons while being escorted out of the court.
As per the NIA, Kamal Chauhan, a disgruntled RSS worker, had planted bombs on Samjhauta Express in 2007 that left 68 people, mostly Pakistanis. He was produced in the court on Feb 14 and was sent in NIA’s custody till Feb 24.
"Yes, I have done it on my will," Chauhan had said.
After a four-year probe, the NIA had on June 20, 2011, charged Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Dange alias Parmanand and Kalasangra for hatching a criminal conspiracy which resulted in blasts in Samjhauta Express near Deewana railway station in Haryana's Panipat district, about 80 km from Delhi.
According to the NIA, the conspiracy involved six persons: Lokesh Sharma who planted the bombs in the train along with Chauhan; mastermind Sunil Joshi, who was murdered in December 2007; Aseemanand, the financier and ideologue; and Sandeep Dange, a close associate of Joshi, who along with Ramchandra Kalsangre had procured the raw material and made the bombs. Dange and Kalsangre are still at large.
NIA is also investigating the role of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Indresh Kumar in the blasts.
Apart from Ajmer Dargah blast, which claimed three lives and left 15 others injured, Aseemanand and Sharma are accused in several other blast cases across the country, including those at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid and Malegaon.
One of the main accused in the case, Swami Aseemanand, alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, had confessed to his role in the attack after his arrest by the CBI in November 2010, but later retracted his statement, saying it was made under duress.