Samjhauta Blast Case: Pakistan Condemns Acquittal, India Hits Back
Visuals of Aseemanand from the Panchkula court. He and three others were acquitted in the Samjhauta Express blast case.
Visuals of Aseemanand from the Panchkula court. He and three others were acquitted in the Samjhauta Express blast case.(Photo: ANI)

Samjhauta Blast Case: Pakistan Condemns Acquittal, India Hits Back

All the four accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case, including Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary, were acquitted by a special NIA court in Panchkula on Wednesday, 20 March.

Attacking India’s judiciary, Pakistan summoned the Indian High Commissioner to lodge a strong protest against the acquittal of all four accused in the case.

Responding to Pakistan's condemnation of the acquittal, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sources said the Indian High Commissioner rejected Pakistan's assertions.

Earlier on Wednesday, the NIA court had dismissed an application filed by Pakistani woman Rahila Wakil in connection with the case.

On 18 February 2007, a blast in the Samjhauta Express – which connects India and Pakistan – killed 68 people, mostly Pakistani nationals.

Aseemanand, a member of the right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, was accused of being involved in the bombing.

Snapshotclose

  • The court had earlier been expected to pronounce its verdict on 11 March, but the matter was deferred due to the Pakistani woman filing an application
  • NIA had said in its charge sheet that the explosion had targeted Pakistani Muslims
  • Lokesh Sharma, Sunil Joshi, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji were named in the charge sheet
  • The incident happened at Dewana village near the industrial town of Panipat, 160 kilometres from Panchkula, in Haryana

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Samjhauta Express Blast Case Verdict Today

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Panchkula will pronounce its verdict in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case on Monday, 11 March.

Samjhauta Express Blast Verdict Today: A Timeline of Events

The protracted investigation and trial in the Samjhauta Express blast case has witnessed many twists and turns. With the verdict set to come out shortly, here’s a brief timeline of the more than 12-year-old case.

Verdict in Samjhauta Express Blast Case to Come Out Shortly

The verdict in the Samjhauta Express blast case by a special NIA court in Panchkula is expected to come out shortly.

KEY EVENT

NIA Court Reserves Order for 14 March

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court hearing the Samjhauta Express blast case has reserved its order for 14 March.

The court was earlier expected to pronounce its verdict on Monday in the more than 12-year-old case, but deferred the matter till 14 March after a Pakistani woman filed an application.

KEY EVENT

NIA Court Adjourns Samjhauta Blast Case for 18 March

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

Special Judge Jagdeep Singh deferred the hearing because of the strike, NIA counsel Rajan Malhotra said.

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

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

Special NIA Court To Hear Case on 20 March

The hearing of the case has now been deferred to Wednesday, 20 March. Special NIA court in Panchkula will hear the case, reports news agency ANI.

News agency PTI reported, the court will give its ruling on the plea flied by a Pakistani woman for examining eyewitnesses from her country on Wednesday. In a last-minute application to the anti-terror court, Rahila Wakeel, the daughter of blast victim Muhammad Wakeel of Hafizabad district in Pakistan, sought examination of eyewitnesses from her country. She had contended that her co-nationals either did not receive proper summonses from the court or were denied visas by authorities to appear before it.

KEY EVENT

NIA Court Dismisses Application Filed by Pakistani Woman

The special NIA court in Panchkula on Wednesday dismissed an application filed by Pakistani woman Rahila Wakil in connection with the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case.

KEY EVENT

All Four Accused, Including Aseemanand, Acquitted

All the four accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case, including Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary, were acquitted by the special NIA court in Panchkula on Wednesday.

KEY EVENT

Pak Summons Indian Envoy to Protest Acquittal of Samjhauta Blast Case Suspects

Pakistan on Wednesday attacked India's judiciary as it summoned the Indian High Commissioner to lodge a strong protest against the acquittal of all four accused, including Aseemanand, in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case.

“Pakistan summons the Indian High Commissioner to register a strong protest and condemnation of the acquittal of all four accused in the Samjhauta terror attacks.”
Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement
KEY EVENT

Indian High Commissioner Rejected Pak's Assertions: MEA Sources

Responding to Pakistan's condemnation of the acquittal of the accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sources said the Indian High Commissioner rejected Pakistan's assertions.

“He highlighted the due process of law was followed by the Indian Courts and judicial system in a transparent manner. The High Commissioner called out the lack of cooperation from the Pakistan government, including in serving court summons to Pakistani witnesses in the case. These summons were returned by the Pakistan Foreign Office and not served.”
MEA sources

Owaisi Reacts to Aseemanand's Acquittal

The government should appeal against Swami Aseemanand's acquittal in the Samjhauta blast case if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is really the "chowkidar" of the country, news agency PTI quoted AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi, as saying on Thursday, 21 March.

KEY EVENT

Pak Trying to Politicise Samjhauta Express Blast Case Verdict: MEA

India on Friday, 22 March, accused Pakistan of trying to politicise the court verdict in Samjhauta Express terror case to "deflect" attention from its "failure" to bring to justice perpetrators of several terror attacks in India and the region.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said there was a complete lack of understanding on the Pakistani side about how India's independent judiciary functions.

Due process was followed in the case and the court has given the verdict based on materials available to it, Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that his country is studying the verdict on the case by the special NIA court and the acquittal of all the four accused, and weighing its options.

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