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NIA court adjourns Samjhauta blast case for Mar 18

Press Trust of India  |  Panchkula 

An anti-terror court here trying the 2007 blast case Thursday adjourned its hearing to March 18 due to an ongoing strike by local lawyers.

deferred the hearing because of the strike, NIA said.

"We were not allowed to enter the court complex by the protesting advocates, said Malhotra, adding the matter was adjourned to March 18.

Local lawyers went on an indefinite strike on March 12 in protest against a judicial magistrate's alleged misbehaviour with an

Meanwhile, Mukesh Garg, for accused Swami Aseemanand, sought to refute a Pakistani woman's claim in her application to the court that the eyewitnesses to the blast from her country were not served summonses for deposition.

Pakistani witnesses were summoned at least six times but there was no response from them, he said.

Pakistani woman Rahila Wakeel, the daughter of a blast victim, of Dhingrawali village in Hafizabad district of had moved the court on Monday seeking examination of the blast eyewitnesses from her country.

On March 11, the court had posted the matter for Thursday after taking the woman's plea on record and issued notice to the to respond to her plea.

The blast in had occurred near Panipat in on February 18, 2007, when the train was on its way to Attari in Amritsar, the last railway station on the Indian side.

The blast had ripped apart two coaches of Samjhauta Express, killing 68 people, mostly Pakistani nationals.

police had registered a case, but the probe was handed over to the in July 2010.

After its probe, the NIA filed chargesheet in the case in June 2011, indicting eight persons for their alleged roles in the terror attack.

Of the eight persons, alias Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, and appeared before the court and faced trial.

Blast mastermind was killed in December 2007, while three other accused - Ramchandra Kalsangra, and could not be apprehended and were declared proclaimed offenders.

Aseemanand is out on bail while three others are still in judicial custody.

The NIA had charged the accused with murder and criminal conspiracy, besides other relevant provisions of the Explosive Substances Act and the Railways Act.

In its probe, the NIA had concluded that the accused were upset with the terror attacks on Hindu temples - Akshardham (Gujarat), (Jammu) and (Varanasi).

They had conspired together to trigger the blast in the Pak-bound train, largely carrying Pakistani nationals, to avenge the spate of terror attacks in various temples of the country.

The accused had conspired and propounded a theory of 'bomb ka badla bomb', the NIA had said in its chargesheet.

As per the NIA probe, the accused were given training in and in for making bombs and firing pistols.

The NIA chargesheet dubbed as the mastermind of the blast plot with active help from other accused, including Aseemanand.

The explosives were stuffed in suitcases, which were planted in the train by Lokesh, Rajinder, Kamal and Amit, said the NIA chargesheet.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 15:45 IST