Chandigarh: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Panchkula district of Haryana on Wednesday acquitted all four accused -Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary- in 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case.
Earlier in the day, the court dismissed an application filed by Pakistani woman Rahila Wakil, one of 13 verified witnesses who were summoned by the court.
The chronology of 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case:
February 18, 2007: A blast in Samjhauta Express near Diwana in Haryana’s Panipat kills 68 people, mostly Pakistani nationals.
February 20, 2007: Haryana Police constitute special investigation team to probe the case.
July 29, 2010: National Investigation Agency (NIA) takes over the probe from Haryana Police
June 20, 2011: NIA files chargesheet in Panchkula court
July 2014: Aseemanand gets bail
March 6, 2019: Final arguments in Samjhauta blast case conclude, court reserves verdict
March 11, 2019: A Pakistani woman Rahila Wakeel, daughter of blast victim Muhammad Wakeel moves court for examination of eyewitnesses from her country
March 18, 2019: Arguments concludes on the Pakistani woman’s plea
March 20, 2019: Anti-terror court first dismisses her petition, acquits four accused — Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary
The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for “agreement”, comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train service was started on July 22, 1976, under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations.
(Inputs from PTI)