Alleged Samjhauta express bomber Rajendra Chaudhary has 'confessed' that it was he who fired at S A R Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case in 2001. But Geelani alleges that Chaudhary was just a pawn and says that the system was behind it, since there were many others who were unhappy with his acquittal. Vicky Nanjappa reports.
According to the National Investigation Agency, Chaudhary has confessed that he had shot at Geelani at Delhi's Vasant Vihar on February 8, 2005. Chaudhary told the investigators that he was upset over Geelani being acquitted in the Parliament attack case.
Geelani was acquitted in 2003, and Chaudhary has said that the attack had been planned the same year. He said that he, along with Lokesh Sharma, an accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid case had shot at Geelani.
When asked, Geelani said, "If Chaudhary is to be believed, he was upset over my acquittal. But then my acquittal had upset the people within the system. So, I feel that there was a bigger hand involved," Geelani said.
"Justice would only be done if the people within the system are punished and brought to book. Since they always seem to get away, there is so much of disgruntlement among many in the society. After this attack I was never contacted by the police. I was also never told about the suspects; these names are new to me," he added.
Geelani alleged that after the shooting, the police harassed him and even confiscated his laptop and seized his car apart from giving his family members a hard time. "I don't want to say more about this probe now," he said.
The NIA, on the other hand points out that this information emerged only after Chaudhary's arrest.
"This is the first time that this information is coming out. The Delhi police has been handling this case, and so we have passed on this information to them. They would question these accused separately and further their investigation," an NIA official said.
Earlier, the Delhi police had drawn a blank on this investigation. They picked up two persons in 2005, but they were never able to prove their involvement in the case. However, now with this confession, they hope to make some inroads into the case.
Chaudhary who is being probed for his role in the Samjautha and Mecca Masjid blast cases reportedly told the NIA investigators that the plan to shoot Geelani was devised in 2003 and on the instructions of Sunil Joshi who was considered to be the ring leader.
Joshi was however killed under mysterious circumstances and this matter too is being investigated by the NIA.
Picture: National Security Guard commandos take up positions outside Parliament House, in New Delhi, following the terrorist attack.
Photographer: Ranjan Basu/Saab Press