Samjhota Express blast: 12 years after carnage, police register case on survivor’s complaint

Published July 8, 2019
A file photo of the Samjhota Express in flames after it was hit by blasts near Panipat, Haryana, on February 18, 2007. — AP/File
A file photo of the Samjhota Express in flames after it was hit by blasts near Panipat, Haryana, on February 18, 2007. — AP/File

FAISALABAD: On the complaint of one of the survivors of the Samjhota Express blast that occurred in India in 2007, who had lost his five children in the incident, the D-Type Colony police have registered a case against the perpetrators of the terrorist act.

Read: Samjhota Express bombing: India's special anti-terror court acquits 4 accused

The complainant, Shaukat Ali, had appealed to the police to arrest those involved in the act of terrorism with the help of Interpol.

Submitting an application with the D Type Colony police, Ali said that he had visited Delhi, India, along with his wife and six children in January, 2007 to meet his relatives.

“On Feb 18, we were combing back to Pakistan from Delhi to Lahore through Samjhota Express when a bomb blast took place in the train, killing five of my children -- Ayesha, Bilal, Hamza, Asma and Rehman-- on the spot. Besides, my wife Rukhsana and my one-year-old daughter Aqsa sustained injuries in the blast,” he stated in the application.

Ali said he had also suffered multiple injuries in the incident.

He said after the blast he returned to Pakistan and a case was got registered against the terrorists by the Pakistan High Commission, Delhi.

The Al-Jazeera reported on March 20 last that a special court in India had acquitted four men accused of bombing a train linking India and Pakistan 12 years ago, in an attack that had killed 68 people, including 43 Pakistani citizens.

The ruling cited the lack of evidence for the acquittal of Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma, who were charged by the India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA).

According to the NIA which probed the case, the attack was carried out by a Hindu far-right group to avenge similar attacks allegedly carried out by Muslim militant groups with the aim of threatening the “unity and integrity” of India.

Swami Aseemanand, alias Naba Kumar Das, a former member of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had been described as the alleged mastermind of the conspiracy.

The NIA’s charge sheet said the men met at different locations across India to plot bombings targeting the Muslims, Al-Jazeera reported.

The Indian court concluded the case 12 years after the incident and exonerated the terrorists--Sawami, Lokesh, Rajinder and Kamal Chohan--who had confessed their crime in front of the media, Ali said.

“As many as 68 people were killed in the blast, but the Indian court did not bother to summon us as me, my wife and daughter survived the blast in the bogey No 4 and 5. The court had wrapped up the case without meeting the fundamentals of justice,” he stated. He said the decision of the Indian court has added salt to his wounds.

Ali requested the police authorities that the criminals be arrested through the Interpol and must be tried for the sake of justice.

Acting on the complaint , the police on Saturday registered a case under sections 34, 302 and 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 3 and 4 of the Explosive Substances Act 1908 against the suspects.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2019



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