On 18th February 2007, two bombs exploded in the Samjhauta Express, a train that connects New Delhi and Lahore, while the train was passing through the Diwana station near Panipat in Haryana. The blasts resulted in the death of 68 passengers including 3 Railway Policemen. Most of the civilian victims were Pakistani nationals.
Initial reports had suggested the involvement of Pakistan based terror group Laskhar-e-Taiba. In 2009 Asif Qasmani was named as the main accused by the United States treasury and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which resulted in him getting a travel ban and also got his asset frozen.
But surprisingly the Indian investigative agencies drew a completely different conclusion and blamed “Saffron Terrorists” for the blast. According to reports in 2010, the NIA was apparently ‘convinced’ that Swami Aseemanand, a Right Wing Leader was the main mastermind behind the blasts. According to the report he had roped in Sandeep Dange, an engineering graduate, and Ramji Kalsangra, an electrician in order to build the explosives used. Aseemanand was released on bail in 2016.
Now a Times Now expose has made some very serious claims, which if true can put the UPA government and the investigative officers of the blast under serious scrutiny. According to the report, the Pakistani suspects who had allegedly planted the bomb were let off without any proper investigation under the UPA government. According to the report the Pakistanis named Ajmat Ali and Usman were initially arrested by the Indian authorities but were discharged within a fortnight.
One suspect named Ajmat Ali was reportedly arrested by the Punjab Police from the Attari Railway Station as he did not have valid papers. He was apparently using an alias named Rajesh Khanna but had a resemblance to the sketches of the bomb planter which were published by the GRP in connection with the Samjhauta blast.
But according to Gurdeep Singh, who was the Investigative Officer assigned to the Samjhauta Blast case, Ajmat was let off the hook after preliminary interrogation due to “directions from seniors”.
This expose has drawn a reaction from Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who has hinted that the whole “Saffron Terror” angle to the blast case was also planted and raised questions as to on whose orders were the Pakistani suspects released.
This does raise the question that were the Pakistani suspects let off so that the “Hindu Terror” theory could be propagated or whether that angle came up independently under different circumstances.
It should also be noted that the same “Hindu outfit” was blamed for Malegaon blasts too, and Sadhvi Pragya was arrested in that case. Earlier this year, Sadhvi got bail and her lawyer, speaking exclusively to OpIndia.com, had revealed how the case against her was very weak and there could be an element of conspiracy too to prove “Hindu terror”.