New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency(NIA) on Monday filed a charge-sheet against five persons, among them Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Asimanand, before the Special Court, NIA at Panchkula, Haryana in the Samjhauta Express bombing case, which left 68 persons dead on February 18, 2007.
Swami Asimanand is also accused of being involved in the Mecca Masjid Bomb last case.
The NIA’s charge-sheet, Crime No 09/2010 under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 was filed against five accused persons – Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Asimanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji.
The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy which resulted in bomb blasts in the Attari Express (Samjhauta) train near Panipat, Haryana on February 18, 2007.
This blast and the consequent fire in the train coaches resulted in the loss of 68 lives and injuries to 12 train passengers including women and children travelling in the train.
The terror strike left only Indian civilians and government officials killed and injured, but a large number of Pakistani nationals who were passengers also lost their lives.
The explosion and consequent fire in the train resulted in the incineration and destruction of several train coaches, thus causing huge loss to the property of the Indian Railways.
The Samjhauta Express (Attari Express) is a bi-weekly train that runs on Wednesdays and Sundays – between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan.
This train has played a vital role in improving the people-to-people contacts between India and Pakistan.
The initial investigation into these bomb blasts was done by GRP/ SIT Haryana Police and subsequently, in compliance of the order dated July 26, 2010 of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
NIA took over the investigation by registering the instant case as Cr No 09/2010, on July 29, 2010.
The NIA, after taking over the case conducted investigation in various parts of the country including Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and MP to unravel the conspiracy hatched by the criminals to perpetrate this act of terror.
Numerous witnesses and suspects were examined and material evidence collected. The investigation conducted by NIA over a period of almost one year established that, the entire conspiracy was hatched between 2005 and 2007 by the accused Swami Asimanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead) and his associates like Ramji, Sandeep Dange,Lokesh Sharma and others at different places in Gujarat, M.P. and other places.
Investigation has further brought out that Asimanand was quite upset with the Jehadi/terrorist attacks on temples – Akshardham (Gujarat), Raghunath Mandir (Jammu) and Sankat Mochan Mandir (Varanasi).
He used to ‘give vent to’ his feelings while discussing with Sunil Joshi and his associates.
Over a period of time, they developed a deep vengeance against not only the Jehadi terrorists but unfortunately against an entire minority community as such.
As a result, Asimanand propounded a “bomb ka badla bomb” theory.
Samjhauta train was particularly chosen, as most of the passengers who travel in it are Pakistani citizens. Asimanand not only provided financial and logistical support to the terror group which executed this dastardly act but also played a vital role in instigating and motivating his associates to undertake this terrorist act.
Sandeep Dange, Ramji and Lokesh Sharma and others under the leadership of Sunil Joshi were instrumental in not only procuring the raw materials for Improvised Explosive Devices(IED) but also getting these fabricated and planted in the target. Investigation has brought out strong suspicion about the role of some more persons in the conspiracy as well and therefore further investigation in the case will be continued. On the basis of evidence collected, charge sheet has been filed against 5 accused (2 in judicial custody, 1 dead, 2 absconding) under sections 120 B r/w 302, 307,324,326,124 A, 438 and 440 of IPC, Section 150, 151,152 of Railways Act, Section 3, 4,6 of Explosive Substances Act 1908 and Section 3, 4 of Prevention of damage of Public property Act 1984 and Section 13,15,16,17, 18, 19 and 23 of UA(P) Act
The NIA said that investigation is still on to arrest the absconding accused who are still evading arrest and determine who were the other accused persons involved in this dastardly crime.
The NIA has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each on the absconding Ramji and Sandeep Dange and Rs 2 lakh on Amit alias Prince who is also a key suspect and whose exact role in the crime is among the subjects of further investigation.