By Our Reporter
The recent verdict of the special NIA court in Panchkula in India has acquitted all four accused in the 2007 Samjhauta blast case in which a total of 68 people were killed. The court also dismissed the application seeking permission for deposition of Pakistani witnesses in the case. The application was filed by a Pakistan resident Rahila Wakil on March 11 through advocate Momin Malik.
“The NIA Special Court has concluded that the investigating agency has failed to prove the conspiracy charge and ruled that accused deserve a benefit of doubt,” NIA Counsel RK Handa said.
Among the 68 dead in the terrorist attack, 43 were Pakistan citizens.
The Indian court verdict came on the eve of the Indian general elections. The decision may help the ruling party BJP to bag Hindu sympathy votes but it may encourage further intensifying terrorist activities in the region. On the one hand, India is demanding ban and action against different Muslim groups accusing them for being involved in terrorist activities, on the other, the Indian government, even by influencing the court, has acquitted those who were facing heinous murder charge.
Such an Indian act may irritate the Indian Muslim and invite confrontation in the name of religion.
What had happened in 2007:
The Samjhauta Express bombing was a terrorist attack that occurred around midnight on 18 February 2007. The Samjhauta Express was a twice-weekly train service connecting Delhi, India, and Lahore, Pakistan. Bombs were set off in two carriages, both filled with passengers, just after the train passed Diwana near the Indian city of Panipat, 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of New Delhi. 70 people were killed in the ensuing fire and dozens more were injured. Of the 70 fatalities, most were Pakistani civilians. The victims also included some Indian civilians and three railway policemen.
Investigators subsequently found evidence of suitcases with explosives and flammable material, including three undetonated bombs. Inside one of the undetonated suitcases, a digital timer encased in transparent plastic was packed alongside a dozen plastic bottles containing fuel oils and chemicals. After the bombing, eight unaffected carriages were allowed to continue onwards to Lahore with passengers.
Both the Indian and Pakistani governments condemned the attack, and officials on both sides speculated that the perpetrators intended to disrupt improving relations between the two nations, since the attack came just a day before Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was to arrive in New Delhi to resume peace talks with Indian leaders. There have been a number of breaks in the investigation of the bombing.
India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) charged eight people in the terrorist attack, including Swami Aseemanand, a Hindu cleric formerly affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. While Aseeman and has been released on bail, three persons charged in the case are absconding, and three others are in prison. The alleged mastermind, Sunil Joshi, was killed in 2007.
Alarm for Nepal:
Nepal-India international borders are open. Without producing any document, citizens of each other country can enter to each other’s country. Nepal’s internal security is very vulnerable. In such a scenario, the criminal groups and even the terrorist groups may use Nepali soil as the center for their operation.
One cannot understand the Indian interests in keeping borders opened with Nepal. From all angles, keeping borders opened with India is not in the interests of Nepal. Therefore, the government should take necessary action to regulate Nepal’s international borders and maintain high alert by deploying more number of the security force in the bordering areas considering possible activities of the terrorist as well as criminal activities.
One cannot deny that India may develop plans to conspire against Nepal and even to split Nepal’s Tarai districts. Possibility of India planted Muslim terrorist plots in our Tarai districts cannot be discarded. One should understand the Indian intention from her continuous efforts for providing naturalized Nepali citizenship to the migrated Indians.