In a major breakthrough in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case, the National Investigation Agency arrested Rajendra (Pahalwan) Chowdhary, suspected to have planted bombs in the Pakistan-bound train, from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
He was arrested and produced before a court in Ujjain which gave his transit remand to the agency, official sources said, adding that he will be produced before a Panchkula court.
Chowdhary's arrest is a major breakthrough for the National Investigation Agency. The 32-year-old man has been on the list of the NIA for quite sometime now. He had a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head, and according to the NIA, he was one of the persons who planted the bomb on the ill fated train.
Chowdhary hails from Debalpur and was one of the men who planted the bomb on the train which killed 68 people. His name first came to light following the interrogation of another accused Kamal Chauhan who is also involved in the same case.
Chowdhary, along with five persons, had planted the bomb. The others involved were Chouhan, Lokesh Sharma and Sunil Joshi. However the other persons are suspected to be Ramji Kalsanghra and Sandeep Dange, both of whom are absconding.
Chowdhary was also involved in conducting a survey prior to the blasts, NIA officials told Rediff.com. Following this he took part in a camp at Bagli and the bombs were prepared over there.
The five persons then met at the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in Delhi. Joshi had arranged for the tickets and from there they went to Amritsar. Over there they set the bombs with timers. There were twin explosions which occurred on the Samjautha express as it passed the Diwana station near Panipat.
Chowdhary is instrumental in this case as he was part of the entire operation right from planning stages to execution.
The NIA would not only get more details regarding the case from Chowdhary, but would also try and elicit more information regarding Kalasanghra and Dange.
They would also seek information on the training camp at Bagli. The NIA suspects that there is a full fledged network of these persons which is still active.
Apart from the Samjautha case they would also look for more leads into the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blasts which were also carried out allegedly by the same module.
With inputs from PTI