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Samjhauta case: Hearing on August 17

Panchkula: A special court hearing the Samjhauta blast case on Monday fixed August 17 as the next date for hearing on the charge sheet filed in the matter by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

During the in-camera proceedings in the case, the NIA submitted the “deficient documents” related to the case and also told the court that it would file a supplementary charge sheet against some other accused soon.

However, the NIA sought some time from the court so that it could file the supplementary charge sheet in the case, defence counsel Manveer Rathi said.

The NIA had on June 20 charged Swami Aseemanand and four others with triggering explosions in the cross-border Samjhauta Express in 2007 that left 68 people dead and 12 injured.

In the charge sheet filed before the vacation Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Kanchan Mahi, the NIA had accused Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji of hatching a criminal conspiracy which resulted in bomb blasts in the train.

Aseemanand and Sharma are already in judicial custody in Ambala Jail. Both of them were present in the special court of District Sessions Judge Shubash Mehla here on Monday.

Talking to reporters outside court, Aseemanand said, “I was forced by the NIA to confess that I was involved in the blast…I am not involved in the case…the proof against me is also fabricated by the NIA.”

Apart from Ajmer Dargah blast, which claimed three lives and left 15 others injured, Aseemanand and Lokesh Kumar Sharma are accused in several other blast cases across the country, including those at Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid and Malegaon.

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