Swami Aseemanand, arrested in the Samjhauta train blast case, on Monday claimed he was not involved in the bombing and was made to give a confession under duress by the National Investigation Agency.
"I was forced by the NIA to confess that I was involved in the blast...I am not involved in the case...The proof against me is also fabricated by the NIA," Aseemanand told reporters outside the special court hearing the case.
The court on Monday fixed August 17 as the next date for hearing on the charge sheet filed in the case by the NIA. During the in-camera proceedings in the case, the NIA submitted the "deficient documents" related to the case and told the court that it would file a supplementary charge sheet against some other accused soon. The NIA sought more time from the court so that it could file the supplementary charge sheet in the case, defence counsel Manveer Rathi said.
The NIA had on June 20 charged Aseemanand and four others with triggering explosions in the cross-border Samjhauta Express in 2007 that left 68 people dead, mostly Pakistanis. In the charge sheet filed before the vacation court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Kanchan Mahi, the NIA had accused Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji of hatching a criminal conspiracy to carry out the bomb blasts in the train.
Aseemanand and Sharma are already in judicial custody in Ambala Jail. Both of them were present in the special court of District Sessions Judge Shubash Mehla. 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.