New Delhi: In a significant verdict, all the four accused in Samjhauta Express were acquitted today by the NIA court. The verdict has dealt a big blow to the Congress sponsored narrative of ‘Hindu terror’ that the party was using widely to defame RSS.
The NIA court acquitted Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary, and Lokesh Sharma in addition to Swami Aseemanand for lack of evidence against any of those accused by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
In the night of 18th February, 2007, bombs ripped through two coaches of the Samjhauta Express train at Panipat. The train was bound for Lahore when the blast occurred at the last station on the Indian side of the border.
The blast occurred just a day before when the Pakistani Foreign Minister was due to arrive in Delhi to resume peace talks. Many pointed the blasts as a move by Pakistani based terror outfits to derail the peace talks between India and Pakistan.
68 people died, mostly Pakistanis, and dozens injured in the blasts. The case was first investigated by a Special Investigation Agency (SIT) of Haryana Police and then handed over to the National Investigation Agency.
Reports suggest that NIA soon diverted the direction of the investigation with an ulterior move to introduce the ‘Hindu terror’ narrative to defame Hindutva organizations. It was alleged that this was done at the behest of top Congress leadership at that time.
In 2011, the NIA charge sheeted Aseemanand and eight others for their involvement in the blasts. Four of the accused faced trial for the charges of criminal conspiracy and murder.
Swami Aseemanand was also accused in Ajmer Dargah and Mecca Masjid blasts. However, he was subsequently acquitted in those cases as well.
BJP leaders had accused the UPA government for not investigating Islamists extremists organization like Students Islamic Movement of India and Lashkar-e-Taiba involvement in the terror attacks even after certain evidences pointed in that direction.
BJP alleged that the investigation was diverted to plant the ‘Hindu terror’ narrative to malign Hindus and asked why the Pakistani suspects were let off.
The investigation agency was accused of pressurizing Swami Aseemanand into giving a statement detrimental to Hindutva organizations.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has registered its strong protest to the High Commissioner in the acquittal of all the accused.