Samjotha Express bombing: Indian court acquits four accused

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By Muhammad Luqman
An Indian court has acquitted all the four persons, accused of bombing Samjotha Express , a train between India and Pakistan in 2007 that killed 68 people including 44 Pakistanis.
The court in the northern Indian state of Haryana gave its verdict after dismissing a petition filed by Rahila Wakeel, the daughter of a Pakistani victim who wanted to get her statement recorded as a witness.
“Prosecution has failed to prove the case so the court acquitted all of them,” lawyer Mukesh Garg told reporters outside the court. “The court first rejected the application from a Pakistani lady,” according to Indian media.
One of those exonerated by the court is Swami Aseemanand, a self-styled Hindu holy man and former member of the Hindu extremist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the parent of India’s ruling party, BJP.
Aseemanand was jailed in 2010 after admitting his involvement in the attack on the train near Panipat, a city about 100 km north of the capital, New Delhi.
Three other accused — Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Amit — are still at large and have been declared proclaimed offenders.
The Samjhauta Express is a bi-weekly train that runs on Wednesdays and Sundays – between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan.

Pakistan has expressed its disappointment over Indian court’s decision. The Acting Foreign Secretary summoned the Indian High Commissioner in Islambad on Wednesday to lodge Pakistan’s strong protest and condemnations against the acquittal of all four accused. Those exonerated includes Swami Aseemanand, (the main perpetrator, activist of the Hindu terrorist organization RSS) in the Samjhauta Terror Attacks.
The Acting Foreign Secretary stressed that Pakistan had consistently raised the lack of progress and the subsequent, concerted attempts by India to exonerate the perpetrators of this heinous terrorist act in which 44 innocent Pakistanis lost their lives.
The issue was raised repeatedly, including at the sidelines of the Senior Officials, Heart of Asia Meeting in 2016. Formal demarches were also lodged regularly with India on the lack of progress and acquittal of the accused in other cases, he added.
The acquittal of the accused today, 11 years after the heinous Samjhauta Terror Attacks makes a travesty of justice and exposes the sham credibility of the Indian Courts. It also belies the rampant Indian duplicity and hypocrisy where India reflexively levels allegations of terrorism against Pakistan, while protecting with impunity, terrorists who had publicly confessed to their odious crimes, foreign secretary said.
He emphasized that the systemic Indian decision to gradually exonerate and finally acquit the perpetrators, is not only a gross reflection of India’s callous insensitivity to the plight of the 44 families of the deceased Pakistanis, who hoped that India would but also reflective of the Indian state policy of promoting and protecting Hindu terrorists. He called upon India to explore judicial remedies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

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