Mastermind of Samjhauta Express blast, mosque explosion walks free from Indian jail
HYDERABAD, India: An Indian court has granted bail to Swami Aseemanad in Mecca Masjid Bombing case in 2007, sparking fury among the Muslim community living in India.
The radical Hindu activist was also a mastermind of three deadly bombings including Samjhauta Express blast and Ajmer Sharif explosion explosion in which over 100 people were killed.
Aseemanand first shot into limelight in the 1990s for campaigning against conversion of tribals by Christian missionaries in Gujarat’s Dang district – has now walked out of the prison.
Aseemanand was acquitted in Ajmer blast case on March 8 along with two others.
Though the series of attacks by right-wing groups took place between 2006 and 2008, the cases against Aseemanand relate to three infamous attacks of 2007. Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid blasts, which killed 14 people, Ajmer Dargah blasts, which killed three persons, and the worst — the bombing of the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express. Suitcase bombs had gone off in two compartments of the train, killing 68 people, most of them Pakistan nationals.
In December 2011, four years after his arrest, Aseemanand confessed to his involvement in the three attacks in court. He also implicated the RSS.
Pakistan had expressed concern after Swami being given bail earlier this month The Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Sing was called in by the Director General (SA & Saarc) to express concern over acquittal of Swami Aseemanand in Ajmer Shrif blast case.
A foreign office statement said Swami Aseemanand had publicly confessed that he was the ‘mastermind’ of the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack of February 2007, and had also identified a serving Indian army officer Colonel Parohit, who was head of the terrorist organisation Abhinav Bharat, as his accomplice in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack.
On Feb 19, 2007, two bombs exploded on board Samjhauta Express bound from India to Pakistan, sparking a fire that killed at least 66 passengers.
Most of the victims of the blast were Pakistanis.
Two unexploded suitcase bombs were also found on the train. Inside one, an electronic timer encased in clear plastic was packed next to more than a dozen plastic bottles containing a cocktail of fuel oils and chemicals.
The Samjhauta rail service was halted after an attack on New Delhi’s parliament in late 2001 and it started up again in 2004.