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Samjhota Express bombings still unsolved after 13 years

68 Pakistanis and Indians were killed in 2007

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 18, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Feb 18, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

Photo: AFP

People who lost their loved ones in a tragic attack on Samjhota Express in 2007 still await justice as authorities have yet to arrest the culprits even after 13 years.

The terrorist attack claimed 68 lives which included 43 Pakistanis and 10 Indians. The remaining 15 passengers were never identified.

The incident took place just a day before the then Pakistani foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, was to arrive in New Delhi.

The Samjhota Express, also called the Friendship Express, was started in 1994 as a goodwill measure to promote ties between the two neighbouring countries.

A Pakistani national was detained over suspicion of carrying out the attack. He was, however, released within 14 days after no proof was found against him.

Later, according to Al Jazeera, India’s National Investigation Agency claimed it was Abhinav Bharat, a Hindu far-right group that bombed the train.

The NIA said the group did it to “avenge similar attacks allegedly carried out by Muslim groups with the aim of threatening the unity and integrity of India”.

The four main suspects in the case included Swami Aseemanand, who has served as a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma of Abhinav Bharat.

In March 2019, an Indian special court acquitted the suspects over a lack of evidence.

In a statement, Pakistan called it a “travesty of justice” and summoned India’s ambassador to protest against their acquittal.

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