Islamabad: Pakistan has summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner to express its concern over the acquittal of right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand – an accused in the Samjhauta train blasts case – in a case of terrorism.
In a late night statement, the Foreign Office said Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh was called in by the Director General (South Asia & SAARC) on Friday “to express concern over acquittal of Swami Aseemanand in Ajmer Sharif blast case.” “Swami Aseemanand had publicly confessed that he was the ‘mastermind’ of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack of February 2007 and had also identified a serving Indian army officer Col Purohit, who was head of terrorist organisation Abhinav Bharat, as his accomplice in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack,” it said.
A total of 68 people were killed in the blasts in two coaches of Samjhauta Express in Panipat on February 18, 2007. The statement said that 42 Pakistani citizens had lost their lives in the Samjhauta train blasts. “The Government of Pakistan expects India to take steps to bring to justice all those involved in the heinous act of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack,” it said. On Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria had asked India to bring the perpetrators of the Samjhauta train blasts to justice and termed the acquittal of Aseemanand in the 2007 Ajmer blast case as “regrettable”. Aseemanand is an accused in the Samjhauta blast case.
“What we have noted is that over the last few years they had been exonerating people involved in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack,” Zakaria had said. “We have been pursuing the case of Samjhauta Express with the Indian government and we hope that they will share the findings/investigations collected so far in the case with us and perpetrators will be brought to justice,” he had said.
A member of right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, Assemanand has been in jail since December 2010. He was also named as an accused in Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case.