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While the National Investigation Agency is focusing on the confessions made by Swami Aseemanand about the involvement of Hindu extremist groups in the Samjhauta Express blasts case, the revelations by Students Islamic Movement of India claiming responsibility for the attack cannot be overlooked. The contradictory statements by the two radical groups have left the investigators going in circles, reports Vicky Nanjappa.
October 2008: The Samjhauta blasts were carried out with the help of activists of SIMI with the help of Pakistani nationals who had come to the country from across the border.
-- Safdar Nagori, chief of the SIMI Nagori faction.
January 2011: On February 16, 2007 I met Sunil Joshi and Bharat Rateshwar at Balpur and I was told that there was some good news in store for me. I then returned to Shabri Dam, my ashram in the Dangs region of Gujarat, and two days later read about the Samjhauta blasts in the newspaper. I confronted Joshi and he said that his men had carried out the blasts.
-- Swami Aseemanand in his confession statement before a Delhi court.
These two confessions coming from two radicals belonging to opposite factions makes the case of the Samjhauta Express blasts that claimed 68 lives even murkier.
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Aseemanand on the other hand who was arrested on November 19 for his involvement in the blasts in a confessional statement before a metropolitan magistrate of Tis Hazari court in New Delhi said that while he was aware of the blast, he had no direct role to play.
The swami maintained that the blast was planned by Joshi, his alleged right-hand man, who was murdered in mysterious circumstances in Dewas in Madhya Pradesh on December 29, 2007. However, Aseemanand's confessions have now opened a can of worms, which have left both the police and National Investigation Agency probing this case scratching their heads.
The court will have to look into other evidence supplied by the investigating agency to finally come to a conclusion in the case. A lot will however depend on what the two accused -- Nagori and Aseemanand -- finally say before the court.
Currently, the NIA is completely focused on the Aseemanand angle and feel that there is more meat in this version. However, they need to gather more proof and hence it is crucial that they take into custody Sandeep Dange, Ramji Kalsangre and Ashok who goes by the alias Amit, the three suspects named by the swami in his confession. According to him, the trio allegedly executed the Samjhauta Express blasts under the guidance of Joshi.
However, investigations cannot be merely on the basis of, a source in the investigating agency said.