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Pak woman makes last-minute plea in Samjhauta blasts case; NIA court defers verdict

Press Trust of India  |  Panchkula(Har) 

A special had to defer its verdict that was expected to be pronounced on Monday in the 2007 blast case in which is one of the accused after a last-minute application by a Pakistani woman.

In a surprise plea, the woman moved the anti-terror court for directions for examination of the blast eyewitnesses from

The court was expected to deliver the verdict in the case relating to the blast in the cross-border train in which 68 people, mostly Pakistani nationals, were killed.

listed the application of the Pakistani woman for hearing on March 14.

Wakeel, the daughter of blast victim of Dhingrawali village in Hafizabad district of Pakistan, filed the application through her Indian Momin Malik, who told the court that he received his client's application though e-mail.

The woman sought examination of the blast eyewitnesses from her country, contending that her co-nationals either did not receive proper summonses from the court or were denied visas by authorities to appear before it.

"The eyewitnesses/Pakistani witnesses do not have any knowledge about the ongoing stage of the trial because no proper summons were served to them, she said in her plea, filed after lunch break.

She pleaded that all eyewitnesses to the case from her country were ready to appear before the court for their depositions and they should be examined in the interest of justice.

Singh asked petitioner's why the plea was made at the fag end of the trial, reminding him that several chances were given to all the 13 Pakistani witnesses to record their statements before the court.

Wakeel's Malik, however, reiterated the stand of his client.

"The court has posted the matter for March 14 after the petition was filed by an on behalf of the Pakistani woman, said.

He said the NIA would give its reply to the woman's application on March 14.

The blast in 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

After the incident, police registered a case, but the probe was handed over to the National Investigation Agency(NIA) in July 2010.

After its probe, the NIA filed a 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 shot and killed near his home in the district of Dewas, in in December 2007, while three other accused - Ramchandra Kalsangra, and could be never apprehended and were declared proclaimed offenders.

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

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, it contended.

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 at and Fardiabad in for making bombs and firing pistols.

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

The explosive 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: Mon, March 11 2019. 21:00 IST