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NIA likely to question Swami Aseemanand for Samjhauta blast

Source: PTI
December 21, 2010 22:11 IST
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The National Investigation Agency is likely to question right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat member Swami Asimanand for his alleged involvement in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case.

He was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on November 19 for his alleged involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad that left nine people dead.

The Samjhauta train blast left 68 people dead. Sources said the Swami would be questioned about his association with other people arrested in the case and his whereabouts before the train blast took place.

The Swami, considered an ideologue of Abhinav Bharat, an organisation linked to Malegaon blast in Maharashtra in 2008, was arrested from Haridwar by the Central Bureau of Investigation earlier.

According to the CBI, his name had cropped up along with that of other accused Sandeep Darge and Ram Chadra Kalsangra alias Ramjee. Aseemanand was living under a fake identity in Haridwar and had also procured fake identity cards.

CBI recovered a passport issued by RPO, Kolkota, a ration card and election card from his possession. While his name had surfaced during the investigation into Mecca and Ajmer blasts, the investigating agencies did not know much about his appearance, sources said.

They said the trail of the Swami began from 2009 onwards when security agencies got information about the way he used to change his look. CBI and ATS (Maharashtra) had carried out searches at various places in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in 2009-10 after receiving information about his presence.

However, he had managed to evade arrest then, the sources said.

A post-graduate in Botany, Aseemanand, whose real name is Jatin Chatterjee, is a resident of Hooghly in West Bengal and came to the tribal-dominated Dangs in south Gujarat in late 1990s.

His name had also come up during the probe in Malegaon blast of 2008 when ATS Maharashtra recovered the number of the Swami's driver from Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, another Abhinav Bharat member and an accused arrested in Malegaon case.

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