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Aseemanand involved in Samjhauta blast case

New Delhi: Investigators probing Samjhauta Express blast case have claimed to have found evidence of right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand`s alleged involvement in the 2007 terror act.

"After the probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it is getting clear that Aseemanand and his accomplices were involved in Samjhauta blast," sources privy to the investigation said.

As many as 68 people were killed when RDX-laden explosives were triggered in the Samjhauta train, the oldest rail link between India and Pakistan, in Haryana on the night of February 17, 2007.

Without elaborating in detail, Home Minister P Chidambaram had said yesterday there was some progress in the case and the NIA has achieved a breakthrough.

The NIA had taken the custody of Swami Aseemanand, who is considered as an ideologue of Abhinav Bharat — an organisation alleged to be behind the Malegaon blast in Maharashtra in 2008. The agency after taking his custody was probing links as to who had supplied the RDX, the sources said.

Aseemanand, whose original name is Jatin Chatterjee, was living under a fake identity in Haridwar and had also procured fake identity cards. Investigators had also recovered a passport issued by Regional Passport Officer, Kolkata, a ration card and an election card issued by Haridwar authorities from his possession, they said.

While his name had surfaced during the investigation of Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blast cases, the investigating agencies did not know much about his appearance, the sources said.

They said his trail began when the security agencies got firm information about the way he used to change his appearance.

Central agencies and ATS, Maharashtra had carried out searches in 2009-10 at various places in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat after receiving information about his presence.

However, he had always managed to evade arrest.

A post-graduate in Botany, Aseemanand is a resident of Hooghly in West Bengal and came to tribal area of Dangs in south Gujarat in the late 1990s.

His name had also come up during the probe in Malegaon blast case of 2008 when ATS Maharashtra recovered the number of Aseemanand`s driver from Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused arrested in the Malegaon case, the sources said.

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