Terror accused Swami Aseemanand granted bail in Samjhauta Express blasts case


Terror accused Swami Aseemanand on Friday was granted bail in Samjhauta Express blasts case, where he’s the prime accused.

This came after the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is controlled by the central government, decided not to oppose the conditional bail granted to Aseemanand, chargesheeted in the 2007 Samjhauta blasts case.

This was stated by Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in Lok Sabha while replying to a written question by Asaduddin Owaisi of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) last month.

The Narendra Modi government had also declined to grant permission to challenge a bail order granted to two other Hindutva terror accused in the Mecca Masjid blasts case, Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma, on the “grounds of parity” since bail had been granted to Bharat Mohal Lal and Tejaram Parmar which had not been challenged by the prosecution.

Narendra Modi government had earlier also given clean chit to another terror accused Sadhvi Pragya in Malegaon terrorist act.

In June, however, a special NIA Court had rejected bail to Sadhvi Pragya.

This after the NIA had astonishingly dropped all charges against Pragya in Malegaon blasts.

The centre’s BJP government has often received flak for allegedly using its agencies to either weaken the case or let off terror accused charged with serious terror activities owing allegiance to the RSS.

Four improvised explosive devices were planted on Samjhauta Express, the only rail link between India and Pakistan, on February 18, 2007. In the resulting explosion, 68 lives were lost.

The NIA has come under sharp criticism from political parties, including Congress, and has been accused of failure to carry out investigations in all terror cases with which right-wing groups have been associated.

The Special Public Prosecutor in Malegaon 2008 case Rohini Salian was said to have been eased out of the job after her claims that NIA was pressurising her to go soft on the accused, which included Sadhvi Pragya and Col. Srikant Purohit. However, the NIA has denied her charges.

In a related development, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on August 11 in which a plea has been made seeking an appropriate “writ, direction or order appointing an advocate of eminence and reputation having high standards of integrity as the Special Public Prosecutor for conducting the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case“.

Seeking a court-monitored investigation into the case, the PIL also wanted a direction to the CBI for registering a case against NIA officials and “their political masters” on whose instructions they were “pressurising” Salian to go soft on the accused.