Samjhauta blast case: NIA court acquits Aseemanand, 3 others

Samjhauta blast accused Aseemanand at the NIA court in Panchkula. ANI

A special NIA court in Panchkula on Wednesday acquitted all four accused in the Samjhauta train blast case, including former RSS activist Aseemanand, ANI reported.

The case dates back to February 18, 2007, when as many as 68 people, mostly Pakistani nationals, were killed in a blast that took place on the Pakistan-bound train near Panipat in Haryana. Assemanand and the three other accused were present in the courtroom at the time of verdict on March 20.

Wednesday’s verdict came after NIA special judge Jagdeep Singh dismissed the plea filed by a Pakistani woman for examining eyewitnesses from her country, saying it was devoid of any merit.

In a last-minute application to the NIA court, Rahila Wakeel, the daughter of blast victim Muhammad Wakeel of Hafizabad district in Pakistan, sought examination of eyewitnesses from her country. She had contended that her co-nationals either did not receive proper summonses from the court or were denied visas by authorities to appear before it.

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However, the National Investigating Agency or NIA, which is probing the case, argued that summons were sent through proper channels on three occasions, but no responses were received. The NIA also said that Rahila “is not a sighted witness” in the case.

Special Judge Jagdeep Singh had asked petitioner’s counsel as to why the plea was made at the fag end of the trial, saying that several chances were given to all 13 Pakistani witnesses to record their statements before the court.

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