Samjautha-what track is the NIA on?

The Samjautha Blasts chargesheet was finally filed after many twists and turns to the case. The accused now in the case are Swami Asimanand, the late Sunil Joshi, Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra.

Although half the accused are either missing or are dead, the NIA has still gone ahead with this chargesheet and this is being seen as a measure to apply more pressure on Pakistan which is doing absolutely nothing about the 26/11 attack. The biggest talking point for Pakistan was the Samjautha Express blasts case ever since Swami Aseemanand made some stunning revelations about the persons really behind the blasts.
On February 18 2007 a conspiracy was hatched to blast this train. The plan was executed to perfection and at Panipat on that fateful day the blast was carried out which resulted in the death of 68 lives. India was quick to suspect the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and accused it of attempting to derail the peace talks between India and Pakistan. The first round of investigations were conducted by the Special Investigating Team, Haryana and when they drew a blank the case was handed over to the National Investigating Agency only last year.

The chargesheet today which depends largely on the confession by Aseemanand states that he along with Sunil Joshi, Kalsanghra, Dange and Lokesh Sharma entered into a conspiracy in order to carry out this attack. Aseemanand had said during his confession that he was angered with the terrorism being carried out by jihadi outfits. During his various meetings with his associates he had proclaimed that the only answers for bombs is bombs. He also said that this train was chosen due to the large number of Pakistani citizens who travel on it.

As per the chargesheet, Aseemanand provided the finances and logistical support while Dange and the rest under the guidance of Joshi procured the material such as IEDs and executed the attack.

The NIA says that the chargesheet had to be filed due to procedure and if it was time barred then the accused could have sought bail on a technicality. However none of them say that this was done in a hurry so as to put pressure on Pakistan which is investigating the 26/11 case as well.

The Road ahead: The road ahead is long and it would be quite a task before the entire investigation to the case is complete. Swami Aseemanand is the only strong link that there is in the case and he is in custody. He has spoken almost everything that was available and he has also managed to provide the required leads for the NIA. Although confident, the NIA would still wait and see if Aseemanand maintains his confession when he is finally put on trial.

The next big link to the case was Sunil Joshi. This man who was murdered under mysterious circumstances is considered to be the over all chief of this group. He was good at logistics and his cronies such as Dange and Kalsanghra reported directly to him. He was the man with most of the answers such as the modules and the cells which were set up by this group.

However with Joshi dead, the biggest links to this case are now Dange and Kalsanghra. The NIA had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh on their head, but till date the whereabouts of the two continue to be unknown. It would take some effort for the NIA to track these two men down since according to sources they are both believed to be hiding in Nepal. The NIA is however keeping a close tab on the two of them and their whereabouts.

However this case is not just about the four men in question. It is a well known fact that these men have not executed just the Samjautha blasts. They are behind the Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts as well. It is a well planned attack and has been carried out with a lot of logistic support from the local modules of these respective places.

The NIA says that the two absconding men will have some answers to this. However to get cracking on the entire modus operandi we would need to look at the three cases in its totality since it is the same module which has executed the attacks.

In addition to all this the NIA is also looking for another accused in the case by the name Amit. He was an associate of the Dange and helped him execute the three blasts. Amit carries a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head. He is also believed to be hiding in Nepal with Kalsangra and Dange.

Author: Vicky Nanjappa

just a reporter

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