Samjhauta Blast Case: Counter Investigation To NIA Investigation
Samjhauta Blast Case: Counter Investigation To NIA Investigation
It’s clear that NIA is being used for petty political purposes as CBI. Its agenda is steadily getting exposed by its own actions that are helping real terrorists by falsely implicating Nationalist activists & institutions. S Gurumurthy dissects the NIA logics in this extensive research paper.
- S Gurumurthy
Samjhauta Blast Case :
Counter Investigation To NIA Investigation
NIA suppresses evidence against LeT, Arif Qasmani, David Headley and Pakistan
Fabricates Charge Sheet to fix Indians
To create notion of Hindu Terror
I. Executive Summary
- This Paper documents the counter investigation against the National Investigation Agency's [NIA] investigation into the Samjhauta blast and against NIA's charge sheet resulting from the investigation.
- The Paper brings together all credible and official evidence mostly available in public domain pointing and admitting to the involvement of Pakistan and Karachi based businessman Arif Qasmani, LeT and Al Qaeda, David Coleman Headley and his third wife Faiza Outalha, as assisted by SIMI from Indore but suppressed in the investigation by the NIA. And the evidence thus brought out virtually demolishes the NIA charge sheet in the Samjhauta blast case.
- The NIA charge sheet in the case, filed on June 20, 2011, charges five persons, Indians, namely, Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange alias Parmanand and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji alias Vishnu Patel with having conspired and committed the Samjhauta train blast.
- It is explicit from the NIA charge sheet Aseemananda’s retracted confession almost exclusively constitutes the backbone of the NIA case [Para 1]. A look at Assemananda’s confession shows in respect of Samjhauta blast shows that it is just hearsay in law.
- Yet according to the NIA sources Aseemananda’s confession has only ruled out the involvement of other Jihadi groups – that is, if Aseemanada’s confession is excluded, the focus of the probe will shift to Pakistan and terrorists like Arif Qasmani, David Headley, LeT, SIMI and their associates [Para 33]. So it is on the basis of Aseemananda’s alleged confession that the NIA had rejected or suppressed all other evidences marshaled in this Paper.
- The leak of Aseemananda’s alleged confession to the media, which is shocking and deliberate, is part of the design to politicize the case, conduct and conclude a media trial, and to create, at the global level, the notion of Hindu terror for political purposes of the ruling party [Paras 4-6].
2. Neutral and credible evidence brought out in the Paper like -
(a) The resolution of the Committee on sanctions of the United Nations Security Council [in June 2009] [Para 18] and the public declaration of the US Treasury Department [in July 2009] [Para 19] to the effect that Arif Qasmani, the chief coordinator of LeT, had funded the Samjhauta blast with the Al Qaeda providing the staff for the blast;
(b) The admission of Pakistan’s interior minister [in Janury 2010] that Pakistani terrorists were hired for the blast [Para 20];
(c) The confession of Faiza Outalha, the third of wife of David Coleman Headley [in 2008, made public in 2010] that Headley was involved in the Samjhauta blast and she was also innocently involved [Paras 21-26];
(d) The SIMI leaders’ testimony under narco effect [in 2007 made publicin 2008] that they had provided support for the Pakistanis involved in attack [Para 10];
Destroys the case in NIA charge sheet and confirms the evil intent of the political establishment.
3. The substance of the circumstantial and documentary evidence marshaled in the Paper is as under:
4. Initial leads and evidence in the probe pointed to the involvement of Pakistan in Samjhauta blast [Para 7-9]
5. Further evidence pointed to the involvement of SIMI operating from Indore and LeT from outside in the blast [Para 10]
6. A factually incorrect, actually false and intriguing submission in Court by the Maharashtra ATS counsel 15.11.2008 that Col Purohit had supplied RDX for Samjhauta blast derailed the Samjhauta probe [Para 11]
7. The Maharashtra ATS counsel’s statement bewildered the Samjhauta case investigators [Para 12]
8. Within 48 hours Maharastra ATS counsel retracted the statement [Para 13]
9. Earlier, in 2007 itself, Shivraj Patil, Home Minister of India had stated that RDX was not used in Samjhauta blast [Para 14]
10. Later on January 20, 2009, Maharastra ATS officially denied that Col Purohit supplied RDX for Samjhauta [Para 15]
11. But meanwhile the damage that was done in the 48 hours after the Maharashtra ATS statement couldn’t be undone. Pakistan began to campaign that Col Purohit and Indians were involved in Samjhauta. The Maharashtra ATS submission to the Court is intriguing [Para 16]
12. But subsequent to the Maharastra ATS statement in November 2008 and retraction in 2009, torrent of solid evidence of Pakistani Jihadi involvement began coming out in the public domain. [Para 17]
13. First, the US Treasury Department announced in July 2009 saying that Arif Qasmani, the chief coordinator of LeT worked with LeT to facilitate the Samjhauta attack [Para 18]
14. Next, a month earlier in June 2009, the United Nations Security Council sub-committee declared that Arif Qasmani has worked with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to facilitate terrorist attacks including the bombing of February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat (India). [Para 19]
15. Third, in January 2010, Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Mallik publicly admitted Pakistan’s involvement in Samjhauta saying that Col Purohit had hired Pakistani extremists to attack Samjhauta [Para 20]
16. Fourth, in November 2010 The Washington Post carried investigative articles in which Faiza Outalha, the third wife of David Headley had admitted to to the US intelligence in 2008 itself about Headley’s role in Samjhauta blast and also confessed to her own role in the blast [Para 21&22]
17. Sixth, the US media investigation again confirmed in January 2011 that Faiza Outalha had made the extra judicial confession of her involvement to the US Intelligence in April 2008 itself [Paras 23-25]
18. Seventh, George Mapp, who was examined by the NIA, has exposed in his columns how Faiza Outalha was given special permission by Pakistan to enter India on foot and exit through the Wagah border. [Para 26]
19. Eighth, George Mapp says that the NIA did not properly examine Headley to obtain truth and says that the US has closed further examination of Headley by NIA [Para 27]
20. In the background of the evidence in the public domain in th form of SIMI cadre’s narcotic statements, US Treasury departments declaration, the UNSC resolution, Faiza Outalha’s extra judicial confession, the NIA charge sheet in negation of all these has created confusion in the public mind, which is evident from media discourse in India. [Para 28-32]
21. Even according to the NIA sources Aseemananda’s confession only ruled out the involvement of other Jihadi groups – meaning that if Aseemanada’s confession is excluded, the focus will shift to Pakistan and terrorists like Arif Qasmani, David Headley, LeT, SIMI and their associates[Para 33]
22. The way the Samjhauta case has been fabricated to substitute the present accused for the real ones resembles the fabricated investigation into the LN Mishra case in which, in the place of the real accused like Yashpal Kapur, Ananda Margis were substituted, resulting in the trial still dragging even after 35 years. The only difference is that in LN Mishra case the intent was to save the real accused, and in the present case the intent is to fix the present accused [Para 34]
23. The statement of the Home Minister that the BJP was attacking him because he was expediting the investigation into the Hindu extremists in terror cases [Para 35]
The conclusion flowing from the counter investigation is that the charge sheet based on the investigation carried out by the NIA, which on the face of it lacks bona fides and seems to be motivated by political propensities, ought to be rejected and the case has to be reinvestigated by an independent agency under the supervision of the Court.
The detailed counter investigation paper follows.
Samjhauta Blast Case: ounter investigation to NIA investigation
NIA suppresses evidence against LeT, Arif Qasmani, David Headley and Pakistan
Fabricates Charge Sheet to fix Indians To create notion of Hindu Terror
Even NIA sources admit that Aseemananda’s retracted confession almost exclusively constitutes the backbone of the NIA case; Even that confession is just hearsay in law [Para 1]
- The confession statement of Aseemananda constitutes the very foundation of the NIA charge sheet in the Samjhauta case. Even according to the NIA sources Aseemananda’s confession only ruled out the involvement of other Jihadi groups – that is, if Aseemanada’s confession is excluded, the focus will shift to Pakistan and terrorists like Arif Qasmani, David Headley, LeT, SIMI and their associates [Para 32]. The confession is confidential document. Yet, it was leaked out by the NIA to the Tehelka magazine, which had published it in its issue dated 15.1.2011. The relevant part of the statement as published is as under:
“In February 2007, “Riteshwar and Joshi came on a motorbike to a Lord Shiva temple in a place called Balpur. As we had fixed this place for our meeting, I was already there, waiting for the two. Joshi told me in the next two days there would be a piece of good news and I should keep a tab on the newspapers. After the meeting I came back to Shabri Dham and Joshi and Riteshwar went their way. After a couple of days I went to meet Riteshwar at his Valsad residence. Joshi and Pragya were already present there. The Samjhauta Express blasts had happened. I asked Joshi how he was present there while Samjhauta had already happened in Haryana. Joshi replied that the blasts were done by his men.”
It is self evident from the statement that the only evidence of the link between the Aseemananda and the Samjhauta blast is what Sunil Joshi, one of the accused [absconding] persons, is alleged to have told Aseemanand, namely that “the blasts were done by our men.” Even Joshi did not do it. What Joshi had told itself is hearsay. Joshi did not say he saw it. Aseemananda has already retracted from the confession statement extracted from him by fraud, coercion and duress.
Samjhauta case deliberately fabricated to like the LN Mishra murder case
2 The Samjhauta investigation is not simply misdirected; it is the case of an investigation deliberately directed and fabricated to fix the wrong persons and leave out the right person, by retaining the events, but, substituting different actors as accused persons in the place of the real accused as it happened in the case of the LN Mishra murder case in which instead of the real accused, Anandamargis were allegedly fixed by extracting confession from some of the Anandamargis. [See para 34]
NIA fabricated case to suit the design of the ruling party to create, at the global level, notion of Hindu terror, for its own political purposes.
3 As stated in details here with irrefutable evidence, the NIA has conducted a dishonest and fraudulent investigation to suit the political designs of the ruling party, which has been trying to create the notion of Hindu Terror. The NIA knew or ought to have known that the real perpetrators of the crime could be very different persons, but still deliberately suppressed and kept suppressed till the end of the investigation and in the charge sheet and therefore from the hon’ble Court, the evidence about them and also their identity.
Leak of Aseemananda’s alleged confession part of the design to politicize the case and to conduct conclude a media trial.
4 The leak of Aseemananda’s statement itself makes it self evident that the NIA and its political masters have decided to make the case political. The idea is clearly to internalize the case, and make Pakistan take interest in the Samjhauta case so that the Congress party can through international effort establish the fact of Hindu terror and also target the RSS and indirectly the BJP politically.
Vital leads and evidences pointing to involvement of SIMI, LeT, Al Qaeda and Pakistan ignored or not followed up
5 As stated in detail here, such evidence contrary to the NIA version in the charge sheet now, has been available in the public domain from 2007, definitely since 2009, and new evidence has tumbled out in 2010 and 2011 to the effect that the Samjhauta blast has been the handiwork of Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and their operatives including one Arif Qasani, David Headley besides his ex-wife Faiza Outalha. The NIA which had had access to this information has deliberately suppressed such credible and reliable evidence available in the public domain through credible sources like the US Treasury Department and United Nations Security Council, besides extra judicial confessions of SIMI leaders and Faisa Outalha, the news about which also has been published in the public domain before the filing of the charge sheet.
6 The Haryana ATS and the NIA have had abundant leads and evidence in the public domain pointing to the involvement of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba [LeT] assisted by the Students Islamic Movement of India [SIMI] in the Samjhauta blast. Later, the US Treasury Department in a press release in June 2009 in which it had said that Arif Qasmani, an LeT operative, was involved in the Samjhauta blast for which it had named and targeted one of the four terrorists named in the press release. A month later, in July, the United Nations Security Council committee on sanctions had said precisely the same thing, namely that Arif Qasmani was involved in Samjhauta blast. Later, in November 2010. Recently in November 2010 in US and January 2011 in India and well before the filing of the present charge sheet by NIA it was reported in media citing credible sources that Faiza Outalha, the Morrocan wife of David Coleman Headley said that she herself was innocently involved in the Samjhauta attack. But shockingly neither the Haryana ATS nor the NIA has pursued these leads or credible information based on confessions or US government input. This critical aspect, which totally destroys the case of the NIA and raises questions over its motives and also demolishes the validity of the present prosecution and reduces it to a farce, is explained in detail here.
Initial leads and evidence in the probe pointed to the involvement of Pakistan in Samjhauta blast [Para 7-9]
7 The initial media reports on the blast are important in the context of the subsequent investigation by the probe agencies. A summary of the media reports are given as under:
8 The day after the bombings, Indian police stated that the suitcase bomb attack was the work of at least four or five people with a possible militant connection.
9 The police also released sketches of two suspects who the police Inspector General said had left the train just fifteen minutes before the explosions.
10 The police say that one of the men was around 35 or 36 years old, "plumpish" and dark, with a moustache, and the second was around 26 or 27, wearing a scarf wrapped around his head. The police also stated that both men were speaking Hindi.
Reference: Denyer, Simon (2007-02-20). "Police release sketches of bomb suspects". Reuters. Retrieved on 26.9.2011 –
Indian police release sketches of bomb suspects
By Simon Denyer
NEW DELHI | Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:14pm EST (Reuters) –
India released sketches on Tuesday of two suspects in the bombing of a train to Pakistan that killed 68 people and both countries vowed not to let the attack disrupt a slow-moving peace process.
Police said the suitcase bombs were the work of at least four or five people and a militant outfit must have been responsible for Sunday night's attack.
"Around 11:30 (p.m.), these people got down, and the blasts happened 15 minutes later," police Inspector-General Sharad Kumar told a televised news conference in Panipat town, close to the site of the blasts about 80 km (50 miles) outside New Delhi.
One of the suspects was around 35 or 36 years old, "plumpish" and dark, with a mustache. The second was around 26 or 27, wearing a scarf wrapped around his head. Both were speaking the local Hindi language.
The men had an argument with railway police earlier in the journey and had said they had wanted to go to the western city of Ahmedabad, police said. They were told the train did not go there and were asked to get off.
"After the argument, when the train slowed down, they walked off," said Bharti Arora, a senior railway police officer.
While the train attack occurred in India, the majority of the victims on the Samjhauta Express were Pakistanis.
The suitcases were packed with plastic bottles of kerosene and petrol, and mixed with strips of cloth to prolong the blaze. Two other bombs were planted but failed to explode.
Police are still questioning Pakistani national Usman Mohammed, who said he threw one of the suitcases off the train.
"The suitcase was thrown on the track," Kumar said. "Usman was there and said he had thrown it. We are verifying it. We are not giving a clean chit. He was drunk."
Another man, a Pakistani national who was drunk at the time, was being questioned because he said he threw one of the bomb-containing suitcases off the train. A senior Haryana state railway police official said that the man's "account has been inconsistent and we have no definite conclusions yet."
11 Later, the Inspector General said "the suitcase was thrown on the track" and that the Pakistani national "was there and said he had thrown it."
12 Two persons, whose identities are not known, had boarded the train when it left New Delhi on Sunday and soon began arguing with the conductor, saying they were on the wrong train. They were allowed to jump off when the train slowed down about 15 minutes to 20 minutes before the crude bombs detonated, said Sharad Kumar, a senior police official.
Reference: Read Reference See below
DEWANA, India (AP) — Indian police released sketches Tuesday of two men suspected of planting a pair of bombs that sparked a fire on a train barreling through northern India for Pakistan, killing 68 people in an attack officials said was intended to disrupt relations between the two countries.
The two, whose identities are not known, boarded the train when it left New Delhi on Sunday and soon began arguing with the conductor, saying they were on the wrong train. They were allowed to jump off when the train slowed down about 15 minutes to 20 minutes before the crude bombs detonated, said Sharad Kumar, a senior police official.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani passenger on the train was detained Tuesday for questioning, Indian officials said.
"He was found in a drunken state and he's being questioned. But his account has been inconsistent and we have no definite conclusions yet," said Bharti Arora, a senior Haryana state railway police official. The man is a resident of Karachi, Pakistan, she said, declining to provide further details.
A Home Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the investigation, said no suspects had been ruled out — from Kashmiri separatists to Hindu extremists.
"The people who are involved in carrying out this attack appear to be well trained. The method used to carry out this attack — low intensity explosives along with incendiary material — is the best possible way to attack a train," R.K. Kaushik, the Haryana state government's expert on ballistic and explosive materials, told The Associated Press.
He said it was too early to determine who was responsible for the attacks. Kaushik and his team of forensic experts were examining the burned coaches for clues.
Authorities say two suitcases packed with crude unexploded bombs and bottles of gasoline were found in undamaged train cars, indicating the fire had been sparked by similar devices.
13 In early March, Haryana police arrested two people from the city of Indore who allegedly sold the suitcases used in the bombings. – See below.
The two were picked up from central city of Indore. Police believe they sold the suitcases used to make the bombs that were set off on the train.
The blasts and blaze on the cross-border train killed 68 people.
It is not clear who was behind the attack on the Friendship Express and no group has admitted carrying it out.
Senior police official RC Mishra said the authorities believe the bombers purchased suitcases in Indore that were stuffed with explosives and petrol.
India has said it would share with Pakistan the results of its inquiry into the 18 February bombing.
Indians have also given Pakistani authorities the sketch of a man said to be from Pakistan who was allegedly involved in the bombing
14 A probe conducted by the commissioner of Railway Safety officially determined that the explosions and fire on the Samjhauta Express had been caused by bombs located in the upper compartments in coaches GS 03431 and GS 14857.
Reference: Reference Article
A statutory inquiry by the commissioner of Railway Safety, Northern Circle, said the fire was caused by the explosion of bombs kept on the upper racks near the door in two coaches -- GS 03431 and GS 14857 -- of 4001 UP Attari Special, an official release said on Monday.
15 The probe also showed that the train slowed down to a speed of 20 kilometres per hour (12.4 mph) just before it was going to pass the Diwana train station. The results strengthened the belief that the suspects got off the train before the explosions.
Reference:"Samjhauta Express slowed down before blasts". Press Trust of India. 2007-03-28.
16 The CNN-IBN reported on 21.2.2007 that “the investigations into the Samjhauta Express blasts have thrown up several very important leads. The Delhi police team – probing the case – has based their investigations on three crucial points.
- Their primary line of investigation is a seven-minute call made on the night of the blast. The call was made from somewhere in Old Delhi at 0040 hrs (IST) on Sunday night and was traced to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. This has strengthened security agencies’ belief that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba could be behind the attacks timed with the visit of Pak foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri.
- The second important lead that the investigators are following is the source of the explosives that were made to trigger the deadly blast. According to sources, the ammunition – that comprised 72 bottles containing liquid explosives and suitcases with IEDs – was sourced from Delhi. Police on Tuesday night carried out raids in parts of Old Delhi.
- The two suspects who carried out the blasts are believed to have purchased four locally made suitcases from the Old Delhi Railway station. They also purchased a Hindi daily from the station before boarding the train.
- Sources also claim there could be similarities between the bombs used in the Samjhauta blasts and those recovered from Rajkot in 2003 and Mumbai's Dongri Chawl in 2004.
17 On 22.10.2007, The Hindu newspaper reported that, in the second meeting of the Anti Terror Mechanism set by India and Pakistan, “India will also seek to know the progress made in identifying a person suspected of having a role in the Samjhauta Express bombing. At the previous ATM meeting, India handed over a photograph of the person, suspected to be a Pakistani national. India also believes persons of Pakistani origin are involved in a string of blasts that rocked several cities and killed or maimed civilians. This belief is backed by interrogation records of suspected militants who are understood to have “confessed” to the Pakistani link behind a few of the attacks.
18 It is evident that initially the investigation pointed toward Pakistan. The initial leads were:
19 The two persons who quarreled and were allowed to get down from the slow moving train were suspects as within a short time after they got down the blast occurred;
20 Even their look was known namely that ‘one of them was around 35 or 36 years old, "plumpish" and dark, with a moustache, and the second was around 26 or 27, wearing a scarf wrapped around his head. The police also stated that both men were speaking Hindi’
21. The sketches of the two who were suspects were handed over to Pakistan;
22 One Pakistani passenger was seen to have thrown one of the suitcases containing bombs from the train; he was in a drunken state and he was inconsistent in his answers;
23 The explosives used were low intensity gasoline bombs adequate to set the train on fire. That is the explosives were not of the RDX variety;
24 Statutory inquiry by Railway authorities showed that the explosives had been kept in upper racks of the two compartments;
25 The suit cases in which the unexploded bombs had been kept were found to been purchased in Indore;
26 Two persons in Indore who had sold the suitcases had been picked up by the Haryana Police;
27 The Delhi police had also found that there was a last minute telephone call at 00.40 hrs from Old Delhi to Pak occupied Kashmir strengthening the belief that the blast could be LeT’s handiwork;
28 The explosives – 72 bottles of liquid explosives with IEDs in suitcases – were sourced from Delhi and police had carried our raids in parts of Old Delhi;
29 The two suspects purchased the suit cases from the Old Delhi Railway station;
30 They also purchased a Hindi daily; this is significant as a Hindi daily published from Aligarh was found along inside the unexploded suitcase.
These initial leads are important in the context of the subsequent allegations in the NIA charge sheet.
31 The photo sketches of the two suspects were also released to the public as shown hereunder:
India releases Suspects' Sketches.
The two men, whose identities are not known, boarded the train when it left New Delhi on Sunday but quickly began arguing with the conductor, insisting they were on the wrong train. They were allowed to jump from the train as it slowed down about 15 minutes to 20 minutes before the crude bombs detonated, said Sharad Kumar, a senior police official.
The important question that arises is whether these sketches bear resemblance to any of the accused persons in the NIA charge sheet. Did the NIA ever check this fact? None of the accused resembles the two persons whose sketches were released by the investigation. It means that initial lead about the suspects has not been pursued by the NIA at all.
Further evidence pointed to the involvement of SIMI operating from Indore and LeT from outside in the blast [Para 10]
- Subsequent evidence pointed to the involvement of SIMI assisting Lashkar-e-Tayyiba [leT] in the Samjhauta terror.
- The India Today in its issue of September 19, 2008, gave a detailed and meticulous account of the involvement of SIMI, LeT and Pakistan in the Samjhauta terror. The said report [which is available on line in URL [Click URL] titled “Pak hand in Mumbai train blasts, Samjhauta Express blasts, says Nagori”, is marked hereto, as Annex A. It is evident from the above report, which details the meticulously the Nagori narco confession and claims that the narco test results of the three SIMI leaders including Safdar Nagori are exclusively available with India Today that:
- Narcotic Tests were carried out in Bangalore, in April 2007, three months after the Samjhauta blast, on the general secretary of SIMI, Safdar Nagori, his brother Kamruddin Nagori and Amil Parvez;
- The results of the narco test of the SIMI leaders available with the India Today revealed that SIMI activists had helped to carry out the Samjhauta blast;
- The attack was carried out with the help of the Pakistani nationals who had come across the border;
- While Nagori was not directly involved, two members of SIMI Ehtesham Siddiqui and Nasir were directly involved;
- SIMI members, including his brother Kamaruddin, were involved in the Samjhatua blast;
- For executing the Samjhauta blast, some persons from Pakistan had come and they had purchased suitcase cover at Kataria Market in Indore;
- One of the members from SIMI has helped the Pakistanis to get the suitcase cover stitched;
[It may be noted that in Samjhauta blast, five bombs packed in suitcases and activated by timer switches were used]
- One Abdul Razak helped the Pakistanis in the Samjjauta blasts for which he had taken help from Mishab-ul-Islam of Kolkata who headed the SIMI unit in Indore.
3 Later, when reports appeared after the Maharastra ATS alleged without any evidence that Col Purohit was involved in the Samjhauta blast along with Sadwi Pragya, the Daily Pioneer Delhi also carried a detailed report on in which it had made a detailed analysis about the narco test of the SIMI and said that SIMI was involved in the Samjhauta blast. The said report is summarized below.
- The findings of the narco test of Safdar Nagori and his associates, Kamruddin Nagori and Aamil Parvez, show no involvement of Purohit and Sadhvi’s in the Samjhauta Express blasts.
- On the contrary, they admitted the involvement of the SIMI and jihadi elements behind the train carnage and Malegaon blasts of 2006.
- The narco analysis test reports of the trio are with the ATS, Mumbai, which had also questioned the trio arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police in March.
- A joint director-level official of the operations branch of the Intelligence Bureau, responsible for the parallel investigation into the Malegaon blasts, said the Mumbai ATS claims about the involvement of the Sadhvi and Purohit are “far-fetched” as SIMI’s involvement in the case is “beyond reasonable doubt”.
- Apart from the Samjhauta Express and Malegaon blasts, Nagori and his associates have also confessed to SIMI’s role and involvement of Muslims in terror attacks in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Ajmer and the shootout at the American consulate in Kolkata.
- Nagori told the team of doctors of FSL, Bangalore, “In the Samjhauta Express blasts, some persons from Pakistan had come and they had purchased the suitcase cover at Kataria Market, Indore.
- One person from (SIMI) Tanzeem had helped them to get the suitcase cover stitched. SIMI leader Abdul Razak had helped the Pakistanis in the Samjhauta Express blasts.”
- Nagori also revealed that Razak had informed him beforehand about the Samjhauta Express blasts.
- Razak had sought the help of West Bengal SIMI president Misbah-ul-Islam for the Samjhauta explosions.
- Razak has a number of relatives in Pakistan, according to Nagori’s revelations. Kamruddin Nagori also concurred about Razak’s involvement in the Samjhauta Express blasts.
- Kamruddin said during drug interrogation, “There were good relations between Safdar Nagori and Abdul Razak. Abdul Razak had discussed the Samjhauta Express blasts with Safdar Nagori.”
That all the three SIMI activists who admitted in narco test that the Pakistanis staged the Samjhauta attack and that SIMI cadre had helped them is extremely critical in the context of the present NIA charge sheet in the Samjhauta case. The corroboration by the SIMI leaders that the Pakistanis had purchased the suit cases from Indore is also important in the context of the initial leads pointing to the suit cases in which the bombs had been kept in the train having been traced to Indore.
Therefore the narco-test revelations clearly seemed to corroborate the initial leads and involve the SIMI and Pakistani extremists in the Samjhauta blast. The question is what happened to the narco test lead and the persons mentioned in the narco test revelation. Did the NIA pursue the leads of narco tests?
4 In this context it is relevant to point out that the alleged conspirators in the present charge sheet of NIA and the alleged conspirators belonging to SIMI belonged to the Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh and in particular Indore. The CNNIBN reporting on the growth of SIMI in Malwa region in a news dispatch on March 28, 2008, titled “MP's Malwa region becoming a SIMI stronghold”, said:
“The 13 arrested Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) leaders in Madhya Pradesh are apparently revealing a terror trail stretching from Karnataka to Mumbai and Delhi.”
The text of the CNN-IBN report is attached hereto as Annex B
Other things remaining the same, the Haryana ATS and NIA appear to have changed the actors and substituted the accused, most o whom are from Malwa, for the real offenders in SIMI also from Malwa in the present charge sheet, even though NIA knew or ought to have known that the present accused have nothing to do with the crime. This is clearly due to political compulsions of the ruling party as more particularly explained hereinafter.
A factually incorrect, actually false and intriguing submission in Court by the Maharashtra ATS counsel 15.11.2008 that Col Purohit had supplied RDX for Samjhauta blast derailed the Samjhauta probe [Para 11]
- When leads were thus pointing to Pakistan and SIMI as partners in Samjhauta blast, in November 2008, suddenly, as an anti climax, the Maharashtra ATS claimed that Col Purohit, who was allegedly involved in the Malegaon blast in which RDX was allegedly used, had supplied RDX for the Samjhauta blast. The Indian Express [15.11.2008] reported that the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) claimed that Purohit supplied RDX for Samjhauta Express blast. The report claimed that public prosecutor Ajay Misar told the Court that Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Purohit had links in Samjautha Express blast and he had handed RDX to one 'Bhagwan'. The report also said that ATS has also told the court that it was investigating the source of the RDX, which Purohit had obtained.
See: Reference Article
The Maharashtra ATS counsel’s statement bewildered the Samjhauta investigators
- This stunning claim of Maharashtra ATS bewildered and bemused the investigators who were probing the Samjhauta blast as evident from the following news dispatch by PTI quoted in the Outlook online magazine:
ATS claim of RDX in Samjhauta baffles investigators
Mumbai, Nov 16 (PTI) The claim by Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad about presence of RDX in the 2007 Samjhauta train blast has flummoxed investigators who probed the attack as the forensic analysis had shown no signs of the deadly explosive being used in the terror strike that left 68 people dead.
The counsel for the ATS, Ajay Misra informed the designated court in Nashik that they wanted the custody of Lt Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit for four more days as they wanted to investigate the source of 60 kgs of RDX which could have been used in the blast on the train linking India and Pakistan.
According to the forensic analysis, the material used in the train blast a highly flammable cocktail of fuel oils and chemical stored in dozens of plastic bottles and packed inside a suitcase, mixed with pieces of cloth to keep the fire going.
This was covered with a foam pad embedded with a small electronic circuit board in a transparent plastic box.
The chemical composition was Potassium Chlorate and Sulphur, the report had said.
Within 48 hours Maharastra ATS counsel retracted the submission
- But immediately, on 17.11.2008, the ATS counsel retracted from the statement he had made the earlier day saying that Col Purohit was involved in the Samjhauta blast. The news item carried in The Hindu dated 19.11.2008 is as under:
ATS denies linking Purohit to Samjhauta blast
NASHIK: The Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has denied that Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit is linked to the Samjhauta blast.
ATS counsel Ajay Misar clarified on Monday that he had made no statement to the effect that Lt. Col. Purohit had links with the Samjhauta blast. He said the media misrepresented his statement in court on Saturday.
However, he refused to clarify the exact nature of his submission in court.
According to the statement of a witness in court, which was presented by Mr. Misar, Lt. Col. Purohit had 60 kg of RDX in his possession. Some of it was allegedly used in the Malegaon blast and some for the Samjhauta blast. The RDX was given to a person known as Bhagwan for the Samjhauta blast. Bhagwan’s role is still to be probed.
ATS sources said no RDX was used in the Samjhauta blast and, besides, the Maharashtra ATS was only probing the Malegaon blast.
Meanwhile, a Haryana police team is interrogating Lt. Col. Purohit in connection with some other blasts. The ATS sources refused to clarify which were the blasts in question.
Earlier, in 2007 itself, Shivraj Patil, Home Minister of India had stated that RDX was not used in Samjhauta blast
- The India Today magazine online edition [16.11.2008] quoting Home Minister of India Shivraj Patil forthwith denied that any RDX was used in the Samjhauta blast. See India Today article titled "RDX not used in Samjhauta Express blast"
Was the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) telling the court the truth when it said that Lt Col Purohit had supplied RDX that was used with the Samjhauta train bombings?
On Saturday, public prosecutor Ajay Misar sought an extension of police custody on Lt Col Purohit stating that the army officer was suspected of having supplied the RDX plastic explosive that was used in the blasts. The ATS claimed that Purohit had sourced 60 kgs of the lethal plastic explosive from a military depot while posted in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, investigators connected with the February 2007 train bombing probe that left 68 people dead told India Today that the Post Blast Study (PBS) of the blast carried out by the National Security Guard said that no RDX had been used to bomb the train. What was used was a firebomb triggered off by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which used Potassium Cholorate and Sulphur that reduced two bogeys of the train to ashes.
Days after the blasts, Home Minister Shivraj Patil told reporters that a ‘new type of explosive’ had been used to bomb the Samjhauta Express.
The IED triggered off a dozen plastic bottles filled with kerosene and incendiary chemicals and stuffed with rags to create a raging fire, the first such use of such bombs in India. The bombs were neatly packed in four suitcases. Only two of the four suitcases exploded, while Haryana police destroyed a third unexploded suitcase, the NSG recovered a fourth suitcase which was used to study the modus operandi of the bombers.
Forty-two of the dead passengers were Pakistani nationals and investigations reached a dead end after leading to Indore where the suitcases used in the blasts were sold to the bombers.
A total of four such firebombs were used though only two went off triggering off a blaze that destroyed the bogeys while it was in Panipat, some 100 km north of Delhi.
Later, on January 20, 2009, Maharastra ATS officially denied that Col Purohit supplied RDX for Samjhauta
- Later, on January 20, 2009, the Maharashtra ATS itself came out with a public announcement that there was no evidence of Col Purohit having supplied RDX for Samjhauta blast.
Maharashtra police on Tuesday said that it has no evidence that Lt Col Srikant Prasad Purohit, arrested for his alleged involvement in Malegaon blast, had supplied the RDX used in the 2007 Samjhauta Express train blast.
"While investigating the Malegaon blast case, we found one witness who said that Purohit had claimed to him that he (Purohit) had supplied the RDX used in Samjhauta train blast," Additional Director General of Police K P Raghuvanshi told reporters.
"There was only one witness who had made this statement," he said.
Haryana police had questioned Purohit on the matter and they would be able to speak on his possible involvement, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Chief said.
"However, in our investigations no such evidence has been found," he said.
The ATS has not found any evidence of Purohit or the other ten members of the group involved in the Malegaon blast having played a role in any other blasts, Raghuvanshi said.
Outlook Jan 20, 2009
Significantly, the Maharashtra ATS also said that it did not find any evidence of Purohit or other ten members of the group involved in the Malegaon blast having played role in any other blasts.
But damage was done in 48 hours; Pakistan began to campaign that Col Purohit and Indians were involved in Samjhauta. The Mahatashtra ATS submission to the Court is intriguing and ought to be investigated [Para 16]
- But the damage was done in 24 hours. Despite the fact that the ATS claim made in November 2008 was untrue and the ATS itself had to retract in January 2009, it was sufficient to make Pakistan raise hue and cry about Col Purohit and the involvement of other Indians in Samjhauta blast. The untrue statement of the Maharastra ATS was the start of the talk of Indian involvement in the Samjhauta blast and the anti climax in the investigation into the blast.
The Maharashtra ATS submission to the Court, which alone linked India, Indians and the present accused to the Samjhauta blast, is very intriguing and needs to be thoroughly investigated. This is particularly so in the context of the subsequent admission of the Maharashtra ATS on 20.2.2009 that it has not found any evidence of Purohit or the other ten members of the group involved in the Malegaon blast having played a role in any other blasts, Raghuvanshi said.
But subsequent to the Maharastra ATS statement in November 2008 and retraction in 2009, torrent of solid evidence of Pakistani Jihadi involvement in the blast began coming out in the public domain. [Para 17]
- After the Maharashtra ATS intriguingly linked the Malegaon blast with the Samjhauta blast, which proved completely false, a torrent evidence of the involvement of Pakistan and Pakistan based terrorists and terror outfits in the Samjhauta blast began coming out in the public domain. The evidence thus became available in the public domain are:
(a) The resolution of the Committee on sanctions of the United Nations Security Council [in June 2009] and the public declaration of the US Treasury Department [in July 2009] to the effect that one Arif Qasmani, the chief coordinator of LeT, had funded the Samjhauta blast with the Al Qaeda providing the staff for the blast;
(b) The admission of Pakistan’s interior minister [in Janury 2010] that Pakistani terrorists were hired for the blast;
(c) The confession of Faiza Outalha, the third of wife of David Coleman Headley [in 2008, made public in 2010] that Headley was involved in the Samjhauta blast and she was also innocently involved; and
(d) The SIMI leaders’ testimony under narco effect [in 2007 made public in 2008] that they had provided support for the Pakistanis involved in attack;
But the NIA completely ignored and suppressed such leads and evidence as explained herein.
First, the US Treasury Department announced in July 2009 saying that Arif Qasmani, the chief coordinator of LeT worked with LeT to facilitate the Samjhauta attack [Para 18]
- While the narco revelation of SIMI leaders showed that they were involved with and assisted Pakistanis in executing the blasts, a more credible evidence – from a totally a neutral source – surfaced later in July 2009 pointing to the involvement of LeT and Pakistanis in the Samjhauta blast. This also corroborated the version of SIMI head Safdar Nagori and his colleagues, who pointed to Pakistan terrorists as the offenders. On July 1, 2009 the Department of Treasury United States of American issued a press release in which It had charted that one of the four terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba [LeT] targeted by it had organized the terror attack on Samjhauta Express. The press room of US Treasury Department named four terrorists and said
“The U.S. Department of the Treasury today targeted the support networks of al Qaida and Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LET) in Pakistan by designating four individuals, Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen Al-Peshawari, Arif Qasmani, Mohammed Yahya Mujahid, and Nasir Javaid, under Executive Order 13224.”
And added that:
“Arif Qasmani is the chief coordinator for Lashkar-e Tayyiba's (LET) dealings with outside organizations and has provided significant support for LET terrorist operations. Qasmani has worked with LET to facilitate terrorist attacks, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjota Express bombing in Panipat, India.
The US Treasury Department would not have made such specific statement naming Arif Qasmani, a Karachi based businessman and LeT as having perpetrated the Samjhauta blast and charged Qasmani with having worked with LeT for that purpose, unless it had had specific and credible evidence. The question is did the government of India or NIA ask the US Treasury Department for the evidence they had in hand to make such public accusation. If the NIA had not asked for the details when the US government had made such specific statement, the only answer is that its investigation is dishonest. A copy of the release of the Press Room of US Treasury Department is attached hereto as Annex C.
Second, a month earlier in June 2009, the United Nations Security Council sub committee declared that Arif Qasmani has worked with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to facilitate terrorist attacks including the bombing of February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat (India). [Para 19]
- Even before the Treasury Department of the US named the LeT and Qasmani as the perpetrators of the Samjhauta blast, the United Nations Security Council Committee on Sanctions named Arif Qasmani as the chief operator in the Samjhauta blast. The UNSC committee said:
Qasmani Arif is the chief coordinator of the relations of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (QE.L.118.05) with other organizations and has provided significant support to terrorist operations of that entity. Qasmani has worked with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to facilitate terrorist attacks including the bombing of trains in Mumbai (India) in July 2006 and the bombing of February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat (India). Qasmani used money he had received from Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar (QI.K.135.03), an Indian known criminal on the List for its support of terrorism, to facilitate the bomb attack in July 2006 in Mumbai trains. Qasmani also conducted fundraising activities on behalf of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba in late 2005.
Arif Qasmani also provided financial and other support to Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01). In late 2006, provided funds to Al-Qaida members and facilitated the return of foreign fighters in their respective countries. Between 2004 and 2005, gave to Al Qaida and weapons supplies and facilitated the entry and exit of Afghanistan to leaders of Al Qaeda. In exchange for their support, Al-Qaida Qasmani provided support staff for the July 2006 bombings on trains in Mumbai and February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat. In 2001 Qasmani also facilitated the departure from Afghanistan of Al Qaeda agents in 2005, gave Taliban leaders a way to introduce personnel, equipment and weapons smuggled into Afghanistan.
Quote: [Emphasis added]
The text of the UNSC committee on sanctions is attached hereto and marked as Annex D.
It is evident from the US Treasury Department press release of July 2009 and the UNSC committee decision amonth earlier in June 2009 that Arif Qasmani, has worked with LeT, in the bomb on the Samjhauta Express in Panipat. The UNSC committee also specifically mentions that Al Qaeda had provided the staff for the terror attack on Samjhauta express, in exchange for the financial help provided by Arif Qasmani.
The question is what did the Haryana ATS and later the NIA did with this credible leads from two credible sources.
Third, subsequently in January 2010, Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Mallik publicly admitted Pakistan’s involvement in Samjhauta saying that Col Purohit had hired Pakistani extremists to attack Samjhauta [Paras 20]
- That Pakistani terrorists were involved in the Samjhauta blast was explicitly admitted in public in January 2010 by Rehman Mallik, the Interior Minister of Pakistan, as evident from the report in The Dawn newspaper in Pakistan. See below:
Islamabad, Jan. 23 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has blamed India for not pursuing the Samjhauta Express case seriously, saying New Delhi has denied providing details about Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit, who was allegedly involved in the bombing in which 68 people were killed, despite repeated appeals.
Talking with media persons here, Malik claimed that Lt.Col. Purohit had hired some Pakistani extremists to carry out the train bombing in 2007.
"Colonel Purohit was interrogated by one of the director investigations, Hemant Karkare, who was also killed later. This clearly demonstrates that there were some Pakistan-based Islamists who had been hired to carry out the Samjhauta Express attack. That is the dossier we have requested India to provide us with, but they haven't," Malik said.
The admission of Rehman Mallik to the effect that “Lt.Col. Purohit had hired some Pakistani extremists to carry out the train bombing in 2007” and that “clearly demonstrates that there were some Pakistan-based Islamists who had been hired to carry out the Samjhauta Express attack”, which is vital for fixing the real culprits, has been totally suppressed by the NIA.
Fourth, in November 2010 The Washington Post carried investigative articles in which Faiza Outalha, the third wife of David Headley had admitted to to the US intelligence in 2008 itself about Headley’s role in Samjhauta blast and also confessed to her own role in the blast [Paras 21-22]
- The admission of Nagori and the two other SIMI officials in 2007 about their role in the Samjhauta blast, the US Treasury Department’s press release in July 2009 and the UNSC committee decision in 2009, all in the public domain in 2008 and 2009 and pointing to the involvement of LeT, have seriously questioned, even exposed as false, the NIA version of Samjhauta blast in the charge sheet, the following revelations in The Washington Post completely demolishes the NIA story that the blast was engineered by the accused in the charge sheet and establishes that it was the handiwork of Pakistan and Headley. The Washington Post carried the extra judicial confession of Faiza Outalha, wife of the former FBI agent David Coleman Headley aka Doud Giliani, to US investigators that Headley had a hand in the Samjhauta Express bombings and she herself was involved in the blast “innocently”.
In The Washington Post issue dated 5.11.2010, in a column titled, “U.S. agencies were forewarned about suspect in 2008 Mumbai bombings” Sebastian Rotella wrote:
"She said Headley had been given a special mission and that he had both U.S. and Pakistani passports," the senior anti-terror official said. "She said she felt she had been innocently used in an express train bombing" in India that had killed 68 people in 2007.
In The Washington Post edition dated 14.11.2010, in an article titled “An intricate plot unleashed in Mumbai, the West confronts a new threat”, Sebastian Rotella again wrote:
In April 2008, Headley's Moroccan wife returned to the embassy in Islamabad with another tip. She warned that her husband was on "a special mission." She also linked him to a 2007 train bombing in India that had killed 68 people and that India and the United States blamed on Lashkar, U.S. officials say. Authorities have not implicated Headley in that still-unsolved attack, however.
- The above investigative exposes by Sebastian Rotella was carried in greater detail in ProPublica, a news website, on 5.11.2010 and again on 26.1.2011 in ProPublica. ProPublica, is an independent, non-profit newsroom led by Paul Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Stephen Engelberg, a former managing editor of The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon with the former investigative editor of The New York Times, as ProPublicas managing editor and Richard Tofel, the former assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal, as its general manager, which produces independent journalism in public interest. In her the investigative story “Newly Discovered warnings about Headley reveal troubling timeline for Mumbai case” [5.11.2010] Sebtastian Rotella wrote:
In December 2007, Headley's Moroccan wife went to the U.S. embassy in Pakistan with what would become the fourth tip. She met with agents of the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security and of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The wife hoped to get a U.S. visa and was angry at her estranged husband, officials say. During two meetings, she told them Headley was involved with "big people" and "looking to participate in jihad against the U.S." She mentioned suicide bombing and terror training but without "actionable details," officials say.
A State Department security officer forwarded the information to the CIA station chief and the FBI legal attaché, but both decided the allegations were too general to pursue, officials said.
The senior anti-terror official who spoke with ProPublica said the agents in Islamabad did not know about all the previous tips. But the other federal official said that hasn't been confirmed.
"I can't rule out that they had access," that official said.
The Moroccan wife returned to the embassy in Islamabad and offered another, more specific warning four months later, in April 2008, officials say.
"She said Headley had been given a special mission and that he had both U.S. and Pakistani passports," the senior anti-terror official said. "She said she felt she had been innocently used in an express train bombing" in India in 2007.
The allegations again connected Headley to Lashkar and, for the first time, to a terrorist attack.
In July 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department accused a chief coordinator for Lashkar of playing a central role in the bombing of the Samjhauta express train, which killed 68 people. Indian investigators have recently pursued theories that Hindu militants were behind the attack. No link to Headley has been disclosed.
The Moroccan wife's description of a "special mission" was accurate: Thanks to Headley's reconnaissance trips, Lashkar was finalizing its plan to strike Mumbai at the time of her warning.
The report is from a totally neutral source. It is not the view of opinion of any person. It is the extra-judicial admission of Faiza who not only admits that her husband David Headley was involved in the Samjhauta blast, but also confesses that she had been used [by her husband and terrorist Headley] in the blast in India in 2007. Even though the admission/confession does not say specifically that it was Samjhauta, it was clear that Samjhauta blast being the only train blast in India in 2007 in which 68 persons had died, the reference in Faiza Outalha’s confession is undoubtedly to Samjhauta blast. The investigative story, as appearing in ProPublica website, is attached hereto and marked as Annex E
Fifth, the US media again confirmed in January 2011 that Faiza Outalha had made the extra judicial confession of her involvement to the US Intelligence in April 2008 itself [Paras 23-25]
- Again, the ProPublica published another investigative write up dated 26.1.2011, titled “Pakistan and the Mumbai attacks the untold story” again by Sebastian Rotella which again cited the extra judicial confession of Faiza Outalha and exposed the role of David Coleman Headley in Samjhauta blast as under:
“In April 2008, Headley's Moroccan wife returned to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad with another, more specific tip. She warned that her husband was on "a special mission." She also linked him to a 2007 train bombing in India that had killed 68 people and that India and the United States blamed on Lashkar at the time, U.S. officials say. Authorities haven't implicated Headley in that still-unsolved attack, however. It is not known how the U.S. Embassy personnel responded to the wife's allegations, but officials say the tip didn't reach the FBI until after the Mumbai attacks.” [emphasis added]
The statement of Faiza Outalha that Headley was involved in the Samjhauta blast is not some hearsay. It is a confession by a co-conspirator who was David Headley’s wife. Here extra judicial confession where she admits to have been used for the blast is clearly binding evidence.
The question that arises is that was this lead, which came sufficiently well ahead of filing charge sheet in the present case, pursued by the NIA. Obviously the NIA did not because this came after the illegally obtained confession from the Applicant. But the question is whether the NIA pursued the lead and if not, why did not? The reason is political. Because by that time, the NIA had procured by fraud, the purported confession of the Aseemananda and on that basis, the Home Minister of India had already announced as mentioned later that Hindu terror groups were involved in the Samjhauta blasts. With the Home Minister having proclaimed so, which ideally suited or which was tailored to suit the political interests of the party to which the Home Minister belongs, it is obvious that the NIA would not have and has not, pursued this lead from a totally impartial source of information – as it could never be said that Faiza Outalha was interested any way in helping the present accused or falsely implicate her own husband, David Coleman Headley. The author of the investigative report in ProPublica Sebastian Rotella says that fact that the authorities have not implicated Headley in the case, which is very significant. A copy of the said investigative report is attached and marked hereto as Annex F
- A comprehensive picture emerges from the evidence from outside India available in the public thus:
- The extra judicial confession of Faiza Outalha to the effect that Headley was involved in Samjhauta terror was available in the year 2008 with the US intelligence, and from January 2011, this fact was known to the NIA;
- A year later, in June 2009, the UNSC committee on sanctions declared that Arif Qasmani, an LeT operative was involved in the Samjhauta blast;
- A month after that, in July 2009, the US Treasury Department made a similar declaration to the same effect, namely that Arif Qasmani was involved in the Samjhauta blast;
Each one of these is a specific lead, which cannot be ignored in any fair investigation and by any fair investigating agency. Significantly The NIA had questioned Faiza and Headley in connection with the Mumbai blast; But it did not question either of them in connection with the Samjhauta blast;
- This evidence – in the form of extra judicial confession of Faiza Outalha, and the declarations of US government and the United Nations on Arif Qasmani and LeT and Al Qaeda as being involved – clearly corroborated by the Narco Tests on the SIMI leaders in the year 2007 by the Indian police. So when the NIA filed the present charge sheet against the accused named in the said charge sheet the NIA had all other pieces of evidence other than the extra judicial confession of Faiza Outalha. But obviously and deliberately the NIA did not pursue the said evidence. The following inevitable questions arise:
- Why did not the NIA name Arif Qasmani as suspect/accused in the Samjhauta blast?
- Why it did not seek the extradition of Arif Qasmani from Pakistan?
The other questions, which arise, are:
1 What effort did the NIA make to secure the evidence on the basis of which the UNSC had declared Arif Qasmani as the accused in the Samjhauta blast?
2 What effort did it make to secure the evidence on the basis of which the US Treasury Department had declared Arif Qasmani as the offender in the Samjhauta blast case?
3 Did the NIA write to the Ministry of External Affairs [MEA] or the Interpol directly for assistance from the US and the UN in the above?
4 Whether it asked the MEA to seek the co-operation of the group established between India and Pakistan for sharing of the information?
If the NIA had not done any of these things, the investigation done by it is not worth the piece of paper on which is written, and if the NIA had done all these, the documents exchanged in this respect would be extremely relevant for the defense of the accused as unless the documents show clearly that the US and UN had erred in their declarations which hold good even today, the innocence of the Appellant and other accused in the case would stand established, unless the US and UN are proved wrong.
It is also necessary to know what did the NIA do with the narco test results of the SIMI operatives and also what it did with the earlier investigation results of the Haryana ATS which had interrogated and arrested suspects and also sent out the sketches of the suspects.
Sixth, George Mapp, who was examined by the NIA, has exposed in his columns how Faiza Outalha was given special permission by Pakistan to enter India on foot and exit through the Wagah border. [Para 26]
- After the Home Minister of India declared in January 2011 that a breakthrough has been achieved in the Samjhauta case by referring to the confession illegally extracted from the Aseemananda and also after went ahead to speak of Hindu terror, came the evidence in the form the extra judicial confession of Faiza Outalaha. The NIA also ought to have come to know that George Mapp, an investigative journalist, whom the NIA had questioned in Goa after the Mumbai blast of 26 November 2008, had written article titled “Kiss and Tell: Intimacies with David Headley’s Ex-wife, Faiza Outalha” on 20.10.2010. about how close he has been close to Faiza Outalha and how she has provided all information relating to Headley to the US intelligence.
See [Reference Article]
In his article George Mapp says that he had met Faiza Outalha in May 2008 in Manali in India and they became intimate with each other. He says that she used to go to Pakistan and back across the Wagah boarder so often that he had nicknamed her as ‘Chello Pakistan’, in which name she had registered her number in his cell phone. She spoke Hindi and Urdu well. The NIA had questioned George Mapp about Faiza. But the Times of India reported the other way namely that NIA questioned George Mapp was questioned on the basis of Faiza’s statement, thus
“On the basis of her statement [Faiza Outalha], the NIA team has also quizzed an American national in Goa who knew Headley. The US national, who is not (not) a suspect in the case, has been hopping in and out of India and had stayed in Manali and Goa with his Russian girlfriend. The American, who works as a masseur, has not violated any of the visa rules of the country and he had informed the investigators about Headley's activities in Goa.”[Times of India 3.1.2010].
Thereafter the Indian Express, according to Mapp, reported, thus:
“Following the trail of Headley and Outalha, investigators have found that the Moroccan national traveled to Manali in Himachal Pradesh during a 2008 trip and befriended another US couple at the hill station. While the reason for her trip to Manali is being investigated, the NIAhas also questioned a US national — who lives with his wife in Goa on a tourist visa for many years — to find out details about his meeting with Outalha in Manali.”[India Express from December 27, 2009]
The reports make it self evident that the NIA was fully aware of the relation between Headley and Faiza Outalha and it also has questioned Faiza Outalha. In fact, according to Mapp, the NIA was puzzled as to how Faiza Outalha could travel by road via Wagah entry, which is reserved only for Indian and Pak nationals. Says, Mapp in his article
During my meeting with Sajid Shapoo [one of the NIA inevestigators] at NIA headquarters he confided in me that he was very perplexed and puzzled as to how Faiza could cross the Wagah border from India to Pakistan since she was Moroccan and not of Indian or Pakistani origin. He even asked me, “how do you think she crossed the border?
I said, rather politely, “you do the math.” Then elaborated, “she is the ex-wife of Headley who is a blood relative of the current Prime Minister of Pakistan whom both share the last name Gilani.” That's right, Headley is the half-brother of Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. I continued, “because of Headley's political connections I do not think that it would be difficult for her to cross the border. Finally I added that he is also allegedly a CIA / ISI agent according to what I read in the press”.
That Faiza was crossing the border at will is also evident from the Indian Express report cited in Mapp’s article.
The Indian express reported on December 27, 2009, “In what suggests David Headley’s links with the establishment in Pakistan, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found that his 29-year-old Moroccan girlfriend Faiza Outalha was given special permission by Pakistan to cross over to India on foot through the Wagah border and back between May and July 2008.”
It is clear from the above narration that the NIA was fully aware of the nexus between Headley and Faiza and also between Faiza and Mapp. The questions then arise are:
- What did the NIA question Faiza for?
- What did they question Mapp for?
- What did the NIA do to with the information regarding the extra judicial confession after the news came in the public domain?
- Did the NIA ask the MEA to get the assistance of US to examine Faiza Outalaha?
- Why did it not name Headley as an accused in the Samjhauta case?
- Why it did not name Faiza Oultaha, who had admitted to her role in the blast, as an accused?
- Why did it not seek the extradition of Faiza and Headley to India?
- Did the NIA attempt to get at George Mapp to know more about Faiza Outalha and what she has to say and how to get her to speak to the NIA.
It is relevant to mention that Headley is under the control of the US intelligence and therefore, having used him as their own agent, the US intelligence was perhaps not keen to expose him to intense interrogation by the NIA. It is also evident that Headley had been evasive in his responses. So questioning Faiza Outalha is all the more necessary to get to know the truth. Yet the NIA had done nothing to contact either George Mapp orFaiza Outalha through him. The article titled “Kiss and Tell: Intimacies with David Headley’s Ex-wife, Faiza Outalha” in which George Mapp spaks of his friendship with Faiza Outalha is attached hereto as Annex G
Seventh, George Mapp said that the NIA did not properly examine Headley to obtain truth and says that the US has closed further examination of Headley by NIA [Para 27]
- The NIA seems to have not properly examined Headley to obtain truth. It appears that the NIA officials did examine David Coleman Headley. While media reports to this effect have appeared, the details have been set out in great detail in a column, titled “David Headley goes Viral: Is the FBI really that stupid?” by George Mapp, an investigative journalist. George Mapp is an Investigative Journalist at Dobroyeutro Blog and News Contributor at Mathaba News Network. Further he was interrogated in India for three days in connection with the Mumbai terror attack on 26 November 2008. Additionally he claims to be close to Faiza Outalha, the estranged wife of David Coleman Headley. In this column on David Headley George Mapp says on the interrogation of Headley by NIA, one of whose members was known to George Mapp, thus:
There was an article by the Huffington Post published last March, titled 'David Coleman Headley: 'U.S. to Let India Interrogate American Terror Convict.' Considering Headley's links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, I ask myself if the Huffington Post really wanted to write, U.S. to LeT India Interrogate American Terror Convict.'? Whether or not a pun was intended, I am guessing that the Indian officials were not amused.
Of the four-member team to investigate and question Headley, three were from India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) Loknath Behera, Swayam Prakash Pani and last but not least my buddy Sajid Farid Shapoo.
There were rumors saying that David Headley gave the NIA the run around and was very evasive in his replies to their questions. One article reported, “The National Investigating Agency (NIA) is not confirming rumors that David Coleman Headley, the 26/11 accused, is being uncooperative but the team is in Chicago for another week at least and are expected to meet with Headley again if not a few more times.”
Indian officials have openly asked for additional access to David Headley and for further questioning. Why would the NIA need to grill Headley again? If he was cooperative or if the questioning was sufficient there would be no need for further interrogation. I am guessing that unlike with the U.S. authorities, Headley was not very cooperative with the NIA. Until now the NIA wish for further access has not be granted and probably never will.
Recently, in a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York at the end of September, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake briefed reporters on the meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna concerning David Coleman Headley. According to a published article by Rediff, Blake told reporters,
The issue of direct and complete access to Pakistani American and Lashkar operative David Coleman had not come up at all at these talks. As far as the US was concerned, it was a closed chapter, he said.
Blake continues, “So, I think, as far as we are concerned, this matter is closed, and again, we continue to be very pleased with the very strong counter-terrorism cooperation we have with India."
Blake asserted, "Again, the Indian team got access and I think they left satisfied with the access that they received. So, we consider that particular chapter closed."
The NIA questioned Headley in June 2010 on Mumbai blast but not on Samjhauta blast. It is evident that the US has decided not to permit the NIA further access to Headley. It is obvious that the NIA has been unable to question Headley on Faiza Outelha’s extra judicial confession of her having participated in the Samjhauta train blast along with Headley because the news of Faiza’s extra judicial confession came in the public domain only in November 2010/January 2011 – almost four-six months after the NIA was allowed to question Headley. It is evident from media reports that the NIA had examined Headley only on the Mumbai blast and not about the Samjhauta Blast. And obviously, with the Home Minister of India declaring that Samjhauta blast was carried out by Hindu terror groups, the NIA would not have the guts to go back on his theory and examine Headley and Faiza which would prove that the NIA story based on the false statements extracted from the Aseemanandais fabricated.
In the background of the evidence in the public domain in th form of SIMI cadre’s narcotic statements, US Treasury departments declaration, the UNSC resolution, Faiza Outalha’s extra judicial confession, the NIA charge sheet in negation of all these has created confusion in the public mind, which is evident from media discourse in India. [Paras 28-32]
- Prior to the purported confession of Aseemananda, as evident from the media reports, the evidence and leads available in the public domain indicated that the Samjhauta blast was carried out by LeT, with Arif Qasmani being regarded as the principal suspect, with SIMI with the top leadership of SIMI who had in their Narco Test confessed to their involvement, providing assistance. With this kind of credible information in the public domain the NIA story that it was the present accused in the NIA charge sheet, who had carried out the Samjhauta attack, created a huge confusion in the public mind. This confusion is reflected in the media reports as explained hereinafter.
- This has been a matter of extensive reporting in the media. With the purported confession of the Applicant, there were two confessions at that point, each contradicting the other, which led to comments in the public domain. This is how the Rediffmail.com reported in an article titled “Tale of Two Confessions”
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 make the case of the Samjhauta Express blasts that claimed 68 lives even murkier.”
It is self-evident that only of the two conflicting versions can be true. The version of SIMI chief confession, of the US Treasury Department, of the UNSC Committee and Faiza Outalha, wife of Headley, which conflicts with the version of the NIA in its charge sheet, has been not investigated by the NIA and has therefore perverted the cause of truth and justice.
3 This was the subject matter of an article written by the well-known columnist Rajinder Puri on 11 January 2011 in The Statesman newspaper. The extract from the said article, titled “ Samjhauta Blast: The Plot Thickens”, which speaks about two confessions totally contradicting each other in the Samjhauta case, and are relevant are as under:
“Last Saturday, Swami Aseemanand’s lawyer alleged that his client had confessed to his role in the Samjhauta Express bomb blast under police duress. Is this believable? Can our civilised police actually put a devout Hindu swami under duress? Swami Aseemanand himself had a different version to explain his confession. Aseemanand in prison was befriended by a young Muslim, Kaleem, who was wrongfully arrested for his involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast case. But Aseemanand knew that Hindu extremists were behind the blasts. Kaleem’s plight made Aseemanand very remorseful. Overnight he was converted from a rabid Hindu communalist into a loving secularist. Overcome by secular emotion, he confessed. Doesn’t this version appear to be more believable?
However, there is a slight complication. It transpires that the US Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent David Coleman Headley’s wife, Faiza Outalha, reported to US investigators in Islamabad that Headley had a hand in the Samjhauta Express bombings. The New York Times reported these warnings from Outalha that were passed on to US officials in Islamabad in December 2007. This detail is now part of the US National Intelligence review ordered by its director. According to an American official Outalha “felt she had been innocently used in an express train bombing”. She connected Headley and Lashkar to the Samjhauta attack. This indicates that Pakistan and Lashkar carried out the Samjhauta attack. The UN banned Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba for attacking the Samjhauta Express.”
It is evident from the above report that even the Indian media was aware that Faiza Outalha had confessed to the US officials about her involvement in the bombing of Samjhauta express. It means that it was and is part of the records of the UN intelligence. This makes the author conclude that the Samjhatua attack carried out by LeT with Headley and Faiza participating and with SIMI providing local logistics.
4 The conflicting stand of the government, one by the NIA before this Court saying that the accused persons in the present charge sheet and another stand before the US and the UN had drawn critical comments from the same columnist Rajinder Puri in The Statesman newspaper on 24 June 2011 as under:
Swami Aseemanand’s “confession” provided the basis for India’s National Investigative Agency (NIA) to launch court proceedings against Hindu terrorist groups involved in the Samjhauta Express blast just before the current foreign secretaries talks began. During the talks not surprisingly the issue of Hindu terror in the Samjhauta blast was raised by Pakistan and discussed by both sides. On 16 January, 2011 it was also pointed out that “on June 29, the 1267 committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which mandated sanctions on the Al Qaida and the Taliban, froze assets, banned travel and imposed an arms embargo on Arif Qasmani, a Karachi businessman who it described as the ‘chief coordinator’ for Lashkar’s links with outside groups… In its press release the 1267 committee stated: ‘Qasmani has worked with LeT to facilitate terrorist attacks, to include the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing in Panipat, India…Arif Qasmani has also provided financial and other support to Al Qaida…Al Qaida provided Qasmani with operatives to support… the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing in Panipat, India’.”
The names of the four Lashkar operatives who carried out the Samjhauta attack were provided by the UNSC report. The four named were Arif Qasmani, Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al-Peshawari, Mohammed Yahya Mujahid and Nasir Javaid. It was further stated in these columns: “If Aseemanand is correct, the UN was wrong. If the UN was correct, Aseemanand is wrong.”
Doubtless Hindu terror outfits are active. Doubtless India and Pakistan should jointly fight terror. But must the government lie to achieve this goal? If the government is speaking the truth regarding Hindu terror behind the Samjhauta blast it should follow the honourable course. It should inform the UN and the USA that Lashkar was not involved in the blast and poor Hafiz Saeed and his followers are needlessly being demonised. How is such glaring contradiction being ignored in an official investigation? Sadly, it is. Despite it the government, the Opposition and the media remain dumb. Truly, we live in Incredible India!
So the issue is clear. If the version in the official statements US Treasury Department and in the resolution of UNSC committee and in the extra judicial confessions of Faiza Outalha and Safdar Nagori and his two associates are true then the present charge by NIA is clearly false. This means that for defending himself the Aseemanandahas to prove, besides proving that there is no evidence against him, that the NIA version is false.
5 The so-called confession extracted from Aseemananda by fraud, coercion and duress is the only basis of the present prosecution. It is the on the basis of the said purported confession obtained under duress that the Home Minister P Chidambaram claimed before that media as the breakthrough on 4 January 2011. When the Home Minister announced the breakthrough the investigative articles of Sebastian Rotella in Washington Post and in ProPublica and had already brought out Faiza Outalha’s extra judicial confession. The breakthrough referred to is only the alleged and illegally obtained confession of the Aseemananda which he has retracted after he regained composure after the mental and physical torture meted out to him to obtain the alleged confession.
Even according to the NIA sources Aseemananda’s confession only ruled out the involvement of other Jihadi groups – that is, if Aseemanada’s confession is excluded, the focus will shift to Pakistan and terrorists like Arif Qasmani, David Headley, LeT, SIMI and their associates [Para 33]
- That the Applicant’s alleged confession only helped to rule out the involvement is admitted in a news item even according to Pakistani media. Mr Sajjad Shaukat writing in Pakarticles, the largest news portal of Pakistan, says:
Sources of the NIA also disclosed that the confession in connection with the Samjhota Express blast practically rules out the involvement of other groups, while initial investigation into the attack had also looked into the possibility of involvement of Jehadi groups which both the UN and US had banned, even naming Arif Qasmani (a rich Pakistani), alleging him as the plotter, linking with terror groups.
It is shocking that the credible evidence of US Government Treasury Department and UNSC committee clearly mentioning the names of the culprits and their role, the extra judicial confession Faiza Outelha and the corroborating statements of Safdar Nagori and his other SIMI associates all pointing to the involvement of LeT, Arif Qasmani, Faiza Outelha and Headley has been caste aside and even suppressed from the investigation on the basis of just a one line statement obtained from the Aseemananda by fraud and coercion to the effect that the Aseemananda was told by Sunil Joshi, another accused saying that the Samjhauta bombing had been carried out by his men. Even admitting that statement of Sunil Joshi, it is only a hearsay evidence, as he himself does not claim to have done the blast, but merely said that his men have done it.
The way the Samjhauta case has been fabricated to substitute the present accused for the real ones resembles the fabricated investigation into the LN Mishra case in which also, in the place of the real accused, Ananda Margis were substituted, resulting in the trial still dragging even after 35 years. The only difference is that in LN Mishra case the intent was to save the real accused, and in the present case the intent is to fix the present accused [Para 34]
- The facts of the Samjhauta case is similar to the facts of the LN Mishra murder case which took place in the year 1975 and even after 36 years the trial is not yet over. In extraordinary case of LN Mishra murder also credible allegations were made that the CBI substituted the real offender by fake ones chosen from Anand Marg and filed a charge sheet. The entire fraudulent investigation was exposed by Mr Arun Shourie and BM Sinha, in the columns of the Indian Express. In the book titled “Commissions and omissions by Indian Prime Ministers 1947-1980” by Janak Raj Jai [Daya Books 1996] the author says on the LN Mishra assassination thus:
To quote from a small book, “Who killed L.N. Mishra” (an Indian Express investigation):
“By mid 1974, the relations between Indira Gandhi and LN Mishra had soured. Mrs Gandhi’s government and her family were being charged with large scale corruption and nepotism…. As one who had been such conspicuous handyman and fundraiser, LN Mishra had become a liability. In the belief that his exit would assuage public anger on corruption, efforts were set afoot to ease him out of central cabinet. He refused to leave unceremoniously. Instead, he tried to meet Jayaprakash Narayan so as to bare his past services to Mrs Indira Gandhi, to explain how screws were tightened on him, and to seek JP’s guidance.
This was in November 1974. By January 3, 1975, LN Mishra was dead, killed by injuries sustained from a grenade explosion on January 2, 1975 at Samastipur in Bihar. LN Mishra was hardly dead when Mrs Gandhi and her entourage were off and running. The murder was attributed to the JP Movement. When these attributions did not stick, it was laid at the door of Anand Marg.”
Investigation by the Indian Express have brought out startling facts to light, that facts that led to confirm the worst fears of the public about the murder. VM Tarkunde, a former judge and a close associate of JP demanded a fresh inquiry, as he felt that Mishra’s murder probe had been deliberately derailed by the CBI, probably at the instance of Mrs Gandhi. When evidence began to point to the murder having been planned by Mr Ram Bilas Jha, Bihar MLC, at that time, and a close associate of Yashpal Kapur, CBI inquiry was abandoned in March 1975, barely two months after the murder. That was why VM Tarkunde asked for a fresh probe.
BM Sinha and Arun Shourie filed stories giving detailed information and throwing flood of light on the mysterious assassination of Lalit Narain Mishra in Indian Express.
A number of people whom I met in Patna and Samastipur told me that Mr Yashpal Kapur was moving in and around Samastipur at that time when Mr Mishra was injured by the hand granade explosion. This is confirmed by the report of the Central Investigation Bureau available with the Bihar government. Mr Abdul Gafoor, the then Chief Minister of Bihar also knew about Mr Kapur’s movements.
The assassination of LN Mishra has many dimensions. It is before the court for final verdict for more 20 years. One of the Supreme Court advocates – Ranjan Dwivedi – has been facing trial and when the end of the trial will come is anybody’s guess. Al though the Supreme Court also heard the case for the expeditious disposal of the trial, in this case, but the fact remains that, the trial is not complete even after a period of 20 years. It is indeed a virtual collapse of the Indian judicial system. The dictum – justice delayed is justice denied – amply fits in this case.
The above book was written in 1996. But even now, the trial is not over. Mr Arun Shourie testified before the trial court in the year 2008, when he stood by all that he wrote on the case.
In an article titled “Timeless mystery” Sudhir Ranjan Sen wrote in the Indian Express on 18.9.2005 thus:
No murder trial in India has perhaps gone on for so long. On January 2, 1975, at a function to inaugurate a broad gauge line between Samastipur and Muzaffarpur in Bihar, a grenade was lobbed into the dias, severely injuring then union railway minister, Lalit Narayan Mishra. He died later.
A close confidant of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Mishra’s influence was growing rapidly in Bihar when it came to an abrupt end. Believed to be the key fund collector for the party, Mishra had taken on stalwarts of the Congress to make his way into the Congress Working Party (CWC) days before the grenade attack.
MISHRA’S death was followed by a chain of unexplained events. Why he was taken from Samastipur to a small railway hospital in Danapur almost 150 km metres away when better medical facilities were available just 30 minutes away at Dharbangha still remains a question. And then why wasn’t the train carrying him made to stop at Patna where he could have got better treatment? It was also alleged that the train was held up at several places, delaying treatment that could have saved Mishra.
What was even more curious was that no post mortem was ever carried out. CHARGES were filed against 10 people, most of whom were members of the controversial sect, the Anand Marg. Of the 10, only seven were arrested. One of the accused has since died. The prosecution claimed that the attack was part of an deliberate campaign of the Anand Marg to seek the release of its arrested founder leader Anand Murthy P R Sarkar.
The prosecution’s case is that the Anand Margis wanted to terrorize the government in order to make them submit to their demands.
One of the key reasons that conspiracy theories and counter theories have continued to flourish is because those who benefitted from the murder came out clean in the investigations. And the Anand Marg which had really very little to benefit, was found to be responsible for the murder.
LAST week at the Patiala House court in Delhi where the case is being tried, L N Mishra’s brother and former chief minister of Bihar, Jaganath Mishra, reiterated his belief that there was a larger conspiracy to the murder than the mere involvement of the Anand Margis. His allegation has cast a cloud over the prosecution’s case.
CASE FILE Circle of blame • Anand Margis were accused of carrying out the attack on Mishra. It was said to be part of a terror campaign to get their arrested leader freed • The LN Mishra case was perhaps the first to be moved out to another state. It was transferred from Bihar to Delhi • Last week at the Delhi court, L N Mishra’s brother and former chief minister of Bihar, Jaganath Mishra, reiterated his belief that there was a larger conspiracy to the murder than meets the eye. The L N Mishra murder case has been a first in so more than one instance. It was the first time that an organised group—if the prosecution story is to be believed—carried out a deliberate attack to terrorise the government to secure the release of its arrested leader. It was also the first time that a murder trial was transferred out to another state as it was feared that evidence and crucual witnesses were being threatened. It’s also a rare case where the trial has stretched for over 30 years.
TIME has only added more layers of amiguities to the existing ones. The case has been through all the courts including the apex court. The prosecuting agency—CBI—has appealed several times in the trial court for a ‘‘day to day hearing’’ for quick disposal. In the last 30 years there have been 719 hearings out of which 625 were effective hearings.
Till the verdict is announced, conspiracy theories will continue to do the rounds. As they have been for the last thirty years.
This report was in the year 2005. By that time 30 years were over and the trial was continuing. On April 4, 2008, Mr Arun Shourie was examined by the trial court as defense witness. The Bihar Times reported:
Former cabinet minister run Shourie Thursday told a court here Thursday that he stood by the articles on the 1975 murder of Congress leader L.N. Mishra published by The Indian Express. In his statement in the court of Additional District Judge M.C. Garg, Shourie said he wrote in 1978 about the murder.
He said that erstwhile chief reporter B.M. Sinha wrote the other articles in the daily in consultation with him.
“I stood by those articles… I had also written two articles in the daily about the probe carried out by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation),” he said.
The court summoned him March 12 to depose as a defence witness. However, his cross-examination remained incomplete. The court posted the matter for further hearing to the first week of May.
The case has dragged on for 33 years in lower courts and has been heard by 19 judges - but the court is still recording the statements of defence witnesses.
With its documents running into about 11,000 pages, it is perhaps the oldest case in the files of the CBI.
While one of the eight accused, all from the Hindu sect Anand Marg, has died, four defence lawyers have also passed away during the course of the trial.
Mishra, a confidant of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, visited Samastipur in Bihar Jan 2, 1975 to declare open a broad gauge line.
A grenade was lobbed on the dais where he was present, injuring him seriously. He was taken to Danapur where he died a day later.
The chain of events following the attack further deepened the mystery shrouding what was seen as the country’s first political killing.
Mishra was taken from Samastipur to a small railway hospital in Danapur almost 150 km away when better medical facilities were available just 30 minutes away in Darbhanga.
Moreover, the train carrying him was not made to stop at Patna, where he could have got better treatment.
It was also alleged that the train was held up at several places, delaying the treatment that could have saved Mishra. Also, no post-mortem was ever carried out.
The case is also the first in the country to have been transferred outside the state by the Supreme Court for fear of destruction of evidence.
The eight accused in the case are Santosh Anand, Sudevanand, Gopalji, Ranjan Dwivedi, Dinyanand, Ram Kumar, Ramasray and Arthanand. Arthanand has died.
Gopalji, Ram Kumar and Ramasray are absconding and have been declared proclaimed offenders. The seven accused who are alive are now said to be in their 60s. A total of 151 witnesses have been examined.
The facts speak for themselves and clearly bring out the comparison between the LN Mishra case and the Samjhuata case. In the LN Mishra case the true facts began tumbling out even as the prosecution was on and the Court did not take notice of the obviously misdirected investigation with the result even after 36 years the trial is not over. If, in the present case also, the obvious facts pointing to the deliberate misdirection of the investigation, what happened to the LN Mishra case is bound to happen in the present case also. The present case is also an extraordinary case like the LN Mishra case, with the added fact that the evidence that is being deliberately suppressed by the NIA is from highly credible sources and is already in the public domain. The Aseemanandaadds that in the LN Mishra case, eight accused have died with the stigma of murder charge against them and on their families and childern; and the real offenders have enjoyed their life and have died leaving good name for their family and children. The Aseemanandatherefore states that the hon’ble court ought to take notice of this perverted investigation and render justice.
The statement of the Home Minister that the BJP was attacking him because he was expediting the investigation into the Hindu extremists in terror cases [Para 35]
- It is also necessary to draw attention to the statement made by the Home Minister P Chidambaram saying that he is being attacked on 2G-scam because he is probing Hindu terror. “The Hindu” newspaper dated 25.7.2011 carried the following report.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said there are nine documented cases involving Hindu extremist groups making bombs and killing people and BJP is targeting selective Ministers because the UPA government has quickened investigations into them.
He said the objective of these fundamentalist groups was to clearly create terror and the government has to deal with that.
Interacting with PTI journalists, Mr. Chidambaram said BJP’s attack could also be due to the fact that the government has persuaded the court to hear two Ayodhya cases on a more or less day-to-day basis.
He was replying to a question why he was being targeted by the BJP linking him to the 2G-scam.
“I think they know that there is no connection to the so called scam in 2G. I think they are targeting selected Ministers for other reasons,” he said.
Mr. Chidambaram said he could not think of any other reason. “I think the reason is that they think this government is seriously pursuing the bomb blast cases where right-wing fundamentalists elements are involved. Clearly many of those right wing fundamentalist elements are linked to the RSS.”
Asked about Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh’s statement that right-wing forces were bomb making factories, he said “I don’t know whether there are bomb making factories. I know that they make bombs and these bombs have exploded.”
To a question about the massacre by a suspected right-wing man in Norway and the dangers of right wing terror in India, the Home Minister said there are documented cases of right wing fundamentalists terror in India.
“NIA is investigating seven plus two, nine cases. The two are Goa cases. Seven are cases that happened elsewhere where the objective was clearly to create terror. These are difficult times when we have to deal with fundamentalist terrorists groups belonging to different religions,” he said.
On the statement of Digvijay Singh that he had apologised to him for some statements made against him and Mr. Chidambaram said, “I was not displeased in the first place… He had a conversation with me and that is not for public consumption.”
The critical part of the said report is that when he when he was replying to a question why he was being targeted by the BJP linking him to the 2G-scam, he said that, “I think they know that there is no connection to the so called scam in 2G. I think they are targeting selected Ministers for other reasons.” This statement is an admission that he was targeting Hindu terror and since he had targeted the Hindu terror the NIA has to prove that the Samjhauta blast is an act of the Hindus, not of SIMI, Al Qaeda, LeT, Headley or Faiza Outalha. That is why NIA seems to have suppressed all the evidence against them. This is a significant admission by the Home Minister.
It is obvious that the manner in which NIA has investigated is intriguing, unusual, unprecedented, and explicitly points to insidious and hidden motives in the probe. The NIA’s refusal, neglect, omission, and/or suppression of the official evidence from the UNSC and the US Treasury Department clearly pointing to the involvement of Arif Qasmani, LeT, Al Qaeda, SIMI; the admission by the Interior Minister of Pakistan Rahman Mallik about the hiring of Pakistani extremists for the blast and the credible media reports of David Coleman Headley and his third wife Faiza Outalha, who has extra judicially confessed to her own involvement is not only extraordinary but also points to and confirms the hidden motives in the investigation.
Given the political propensities and compulsion of the ruling Congress party repeatedly made explicit by its functionaries including the Home Minister P Chidambaram and its General Secretary Digvijay Singh about the notion of Hindu terror, the unusual investigation of the NIA and its rejection and suppression of such vital evidence makes it a case of fixing the present accused very much like in the LN Mishra case, except that in the latter case, the intention was to save the real accused and here it is the motive to fix the present accused to further and globalize the notion of Hindu Terror.
The investigation by the NIA needs to be discarded in its entirely and re-investigation of the case by an independent Special Investigation Team must be carried out the under the supervision of the judiciary.
Otherwise besides that there would be total miscarriage of justice both ways -- not only by torturing the innocent, but also by letting free the real offenders.
S Gurumurthy is well-known Leagl & Tax Consultant. He is known fro his economic views.
(This research paper was originally published by The New Indian Express)