Panchkula: Kamal Chauhan, a disgruntled RSS worker arrested by the NIA, in connection with the Samjhauta Express blast, on Friday claimed that he does not know another accused Aseemanand facing trial in the same case.
Chauhan, who was remanded to NIA custody after being produced in the court here, told reporters outside the court premises that "he knows nothing about Aseemanand." "I don't know Aseemanand," he told reporters while being taken by NIA officials to the police van.
On February 14, Chauhan had admitted before media that he had planted bombs on board Samjhauta Express in 2007 that left 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, dead. Aseemanand too had told media that he did not know Chauhan.
NIA's special public prosecutor RK Handa told reporters that the investigating agency sought 15 days remand of Chauhan before the judge during the in-camera proceedings.
Handa said that he pleaded that the accused had to be taken to Madhya Pradesh and other areas for identification of places where he took training on use of explosive materials.
Besides, the NIA also want to take Chauhan to Madhya Pardesh for the identification of the shop from where explosive materials were purchased and the room where the entire conspiracy took place.
However, the court remanded Chauhan to NIA's custody till March two. Meanwhile, the court asked NIA to produce another accused Lokesh Sharma before a Mumbai court on February 27.
The court ordered the custody of Sharma to NIA for being taken to Mumbai as the court there had given the NIA the production warrant of Lokesh Sharma in connection with his alleged role in Malegoan 2008 blasts.
Showing no remorse at the previous hearing on February 14, Chauhan had told media that "Yes, I have done it (planting bombs on the train) on my will." The NIA had alleged that Indore-based Chauhan had planted bombs on board Samjhauta Express and had undergone training in arms and explosives in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
Investigations reveal that Chauhan along with Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji and Lokesh Sharma, also charged in the case, had planted the explosives in the train at Old Delhi, from where the train originates, the NIA had maintained.
Chauhan, believed to be a close aide of Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, key accused in the Samjhauta case, was arrested from Noida on Delhi's outskirts recently. Born in Mhow, was an activist of Rashtirya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Chauhan's counsel Shailender Babbar said that he had been falsely implicated in the case. There has been no clarity when he was arrested and for what reasons, he told reporters.
Lokesh Sharma, who was arrested in June 2010 on charges of participating in the criminal conspiracy of the bombing as he was present in the meeting where the alleged plot was hatched, will be produced before a Mumbai court on February 27.
NIA is also looking for Dange's right hand Kalsangra in connection with the case. After a four-year probe, the NIA had on June 20, 2011, charged Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Dange alias Parmanand and Kalasangra for hatching a criminal conspiracy which resulted in blasts in Samjhauta Express near Deewana railway station in Haryana's Panipat district, about 80 km from Delhi.
NIA is also investigating the role of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Indresh Kumar in the blasts. Swami Aseemanand and Sharma are already in judicial custody.
Apart from Ajmer Dargah blast, which claimed three lives and left 15 others injured, Aseemanand and Sharma are accused in several other blast cases across the country, including those at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid and Malegaon.