15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims

15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (APP): Despite the lapse of 15 years, the Indian government continues to deny justice to the families of victims of the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack in total disregard to the clear evidence available.

On February 18, 2007, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast was carried out in the Samjhauta train, which ran between New Delhi and Lahore, at Panipat in Haryana. The incident had claimed 68 lives, including 43 Pakistani nationals, 10 Indian citizens, and 15 unidentified persons. About 12 others, including 10 Pakistanis and two Indians, were also injured in the attack.

Initially, a Muslim group was blamed for the incident, but later on the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) arrested Kamal Chauhan of the Hindu extremist organization Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in New Delhi. Chauhan was an explosives specialist, who had planted the bomb in that train.

The investigations revealed that the said Hindu activist and several other persons had been involved in the blasts at Ajmer Dargah, Hyderabad’s Makkah Masjid and Malegaon. The Hindu chauvinists also confessed their involvement in these acts of terror.

The Head of Maharashtra Police Inspector General Hemant Karkare and several political commentators had called it “Hindutva Terror” or the “Saffron Terror”. Later, Hemant Karkare was targeted and killed during the 2008 Mumbai operation.

15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims

It was also reported that Swami Aseemanand, an RSS leader, was found guilty before a judicial magistrate for his involvement in the attacks on Samjhauta Express, and mosques in Malegaon in Maharashtra state and Andhra Pradesh’s state capital Hyderabad, besides a Muslim shrine in Ajmer in Rajasthan.

Indian Army Col Prohit himself had confessed to have trained Hindu terrorists to initiate an armed conflict between Pakistan and India.

The opposition leader in the Indian parliament Rahul Gandhi truly confirmed that the growth of Hindu extremists presented a greater threat to India than the Muslims.

15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims
Coffins containing dead bodies of Samjhauta express train explosion victims are lined up. (Indian Express photo)

Pakistan had urged India to share findings of the investigation into the Samjhauta train blasts after it was disclosed that Hindu extremist outfits were behind the terrorist activities in February 2007.

India had used 26/11 as a propaganda tool against Pakistan, which showed the historic anti-Pakistan posture of India in general and the Hindutva approach of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in particular.

15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims

“Despite the availability of clear evidence, India’s continuing failure to provide justice to the victims of this horrible incident is a reconfirmation of the culture of impunity that the perpetrators of terrorist attacks enjoy in India,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims
Swami Aseemanand seen outside NIA Court, in Panchkula on March 18. (Hindustan Times Photo)

Speaking to The Wire, Vikash Narain Rai, a former Haryana police officer who headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) from 2007 to early 2010, said the police recovered an unexploded bomb from the train. It was found that all the parts of that ‘incendiary device’ were purchased by the people linked to the RSS and its associate groups.

A special court on March 20, 2019 acquitted Swami Aseemanand and three others in the case. NIA special judge Jagdeep Singh also dismissed the plea of a Pakistani woman for examining eyewitnesses from her country.

15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims

Pakistan believes that the systemic Indian decision to gradually exonerate and finally acquit the perpetrators is not just a reflection of India’s callousness towards the families of the deceased Pakistanis, but also reflective of the Indian state policy of promoting and protecting the Hindu terrorists.

In fact, India had been using similar incidents to lay a basis for the false flag operations against Pakistan, which had also been proved in many other instances to deceive its public about the culprits and perpetrators.

15 years on, India callously denying justice to Samjhauta Express attack victims

The incidents of airplane hijacking of 1971, Indian Airline Flight 814 Kabul Hijacking in 1999, Chittisinghpura Massacre of 2000, Indian Parliament Attack in 2001, IIOJK Legislative Assembly Car Bombing in 2001, Makkah Mosque Bombing, Malegaon Mosque Blast in 2006, Ahmedabad Bombing in 2008, Sri Lankan Cricket Team attack in Lahore in 2009, Pathankot Air Base Attack in 2016 and URI Attack in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) in 2016 were the examples of the Indian false flag operations to malign Pakistan in which their own authorities denied Pakistan’s involvement.