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A Special Court at Panchkula in Haryana hearing the 2007 Samjhauta Express blasts case on Friday issued a summons to the then CJM Rakesh Singh who had recorded the statement of main accused Swami Aseemanand in 2011.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Gulab Singh’s Court, which serves as a Special NIA Court, has issued summon to Rakesh Singh who is currently posted as additional district and sessions judge, Kurukshetra, to appear as a witness in the case on September 15. He had recorded Aseemanand ‘s statement under Section 164 CrPC in January 2011.
Aseemanand, who was released on bail last year, and other accused including Kamal Chauhan, Lokesh Sharma and Rajender Choudhary, were also present in the court at the closed-door hearing.
A total of 68 people, including 33 men, 19 women and 16 children were killed in the explosion in the Samjhauta Express train travelling from Delhi to Lahore during the intervening night of February 18 and 19 near Panipat in Haryana.
The NIA has named eight people including Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji in the charge-sheets filed in the case since 2011.
The Special NIA Court had last month granted four months’ time to the 13 Pakistani witnesses for attending the trial court proceedings. Pakistan earlier had sought more time to serve the summons issued to its citizens for deposing before the trial court, which has already completed the proceedings of some 249 witnesses out of the total 299.