The main accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case walks free, despite confessing twice before the court to his involvement in the terrorist attack of February 2007 in which 68 people, including at least 43 Pakistanis, had been killed near Panipat, about 100 km north of New Delhi, the Indian capital.
Three other accused in the case have also been acquitted by a special court in India as three more are absconding while another one, nominated as the mastermind of the attack by investigators, had been killed only a few months after the train blast.
The acquitted main accused, Swami Aseemanand, is a former RSS activist, who is well known to have been working along with his associates to avenge “attacks on Hindu temples” under a well-coordinated scheme of “bomb for a bomb”.
According to the Indian media, the self-proclaimed monk had openly confessed to his involvement in bombings at various worship and holy places belonging to Muslims, such as the Ajmer Sharif shire and Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, and against the Muslim community in Malegaon.
Moreover, India’s National Investigation Agency, the prosecuting agency in the Samjhauta blast case, had – in a its report submitted to the special court – declared Aseemanand the main culprit behind what it called an attack on the security, sovereignty and unity of India.
Indian media too has described Aseemanand as an odious face of Hindu extremism and terrorism. Despite all that the Indian special court judged that the prosecutors failed to prove the case against the accused and freed the man responsible for more than 100 deaths, according to local media.
And that is what clearly makes Aseemanand’s acquittal a travesty of justice and exposes the sham credibility of the Indian courts – as also remarked by the Foreign Office of Pakistan which also summoned the Indian High Commissioner to register its condemnation.
The Foreign Office, on behalf of the families of some 43 Pakistani victims of the terrorist attack, is well within its right to urge the Indian government to hunt the “ghosts” that bombed the train.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2019.
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