A special National Investigation Agency court on Wednesday acquitted all four accused – Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary – in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case, ANI reported.
On March 14, the court had deferred the hearing in the case to March 18 due to a lawyers’ strike in Panchkula. On March 11, the court had deferred the verdict to March 14 after a Pakistani woman moved a petition claiming she had evidence related to the case. The judgement was finally passed on Wednesday after her petition was dismissed.
The explosion, which took place on February 18, 2007, had killed 68 people, including 10 Indians. In its chargesheet, the NIA said the blast had targeted Pakistani Muslims. The incident happened at Diwani village near Panipat, 160 km from Panchkula in Haryana. The train, which connects India and Pakistan, was heading toward Attari, the last station on the Indian side.
The NIA’s chargesheet had named several people, including Aseemanand, who was acquitted in the Ajmer Dargah blast case in May 2017 after prosecution witnesses turned hostile. Last year, Aseemanand was also acquitted in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. Nine people were killed and 58 injured after an improvised explosive device exploded in the mosque in May 2007.