In a significant
breakthrough in the Samjhauta Express blast case, the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested late Sunday night Kamal
Chauhan, said to be one of the
persons who planted the briefcases loaded with explosives on the
ill fated train.
This is the third arrest in the
case. Swami Aseemanand is also in custody for his involvement in
The blast had left nearly 70 dead
and 100 injured — most of them Pakistanis.
Media reports quoting highly-placed
NIA sources said Chauhan, along with the key suspect in the blast
case Sunil Joshi, had procured the two suitcases used in the twin
blasts in the train from a shop in Indore.
A resident of Moorkheda village near
Indore, Kamal Chauhan is alleged to be one of the persons who
planted the briefcases loaded with explosives on February 18,
“We will question him regarding his association with Sunil Joshi,”
Indian Express quoted a top NIA official as saying.
Joshi had allegedly procured the two suitcases used in the twin
blast from a shop in Indore.
During its investigations and especially after the arrest of Swami
Aseemanand, the NIA had claimed that the blast was the handiwork
of saffron terror outfits. The other key suspects — Sandeep Dange,
Ramchandra Kalsangra and Ashok alias Ashwini Chauhan — are still
on the run on whom the NIA has announced rewards ranging from Rs 2
to 10 lakhs.
Chauhan’s name does not figure among those declared proclaimed
offenders by the NIA.
Officials said that his custodial interrogation will provide vital
leads, particularly about the three missing accused persons and
the sources of explosives.
NIA sources also claimed that they
had kept Chauhan under surveillance for the last few days
following a specific tip-off. The NIA so far is extremely
tightlipped about the arrest as it will produce Chauhan in court
here on Monday, Asian Age reported.
Officials involved with the
investigations are optimistic that Chauhan’s custodial
interrogation will provide them vital leads on the Samjahuta blast
case, particularly about three missing accused persons and the
sources of the explosives. It was largely suspected that RDX has
been used in the blast as some traces were found in the twin