Indian court defers verdict in Samjhota Express bombing case; hearing on March 14

Updated March 11, 2019

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A file photo of the Samjhauta Express in flames after it was hit by blasts near Panipat, Haryana, on February 18, 2007. — AP/File
A file photo of the Samjhauta Express in flames after it was hit by blasts near Panipat, Haryana, on February 18, 2007. — AP/File

An Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Monday put off the announcement of its judgement in a case regarding the deadly 2007 Samjhota Express bombing, The Hindu reported.

The verdict was deferred after a Pakistani woman filed a petition in the special court to have her statement recorded as a witness.

Rahila L Vakeel in her application claimed that she had some evidence relevant to the case, the Times of India (TOI) quoted a lawyer as saying.

The next hearing of the case will be held on March 14.

In February 2007, alleged Hindu extremists had bombed the Samjhota Express, killing 68 people, 42 of whom were Pakistanis.

The explosions had ripped through the train during its transit through Panipat on its way to Lahore from Delhi.

According to The Hindu, four accused in the case were presented for today's hearing amid tight security. They included the main accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar, better known by his nickname Swami Aseemanand.

Sunil Joshi, the alleged mastermind of the attack, was killed in December 2007, according to TOI. Three other accused remain at large and have been declared proclaimed offenders.

The final arguments in the case were concluded on March 6 and the judgement was reserved for March 11, the report added.