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Samjhauta blast: NIA arrest key accused

Feb 13, 2012 07:12 AM IST India India

New Delhi: In a possible breakthrough in the Samjhauta Express blast investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday claimed to have arrested the man who allegedly placed the bomb on the India-Pakistan train in February 2007.

The suspect has been identified as Kamal Chouhan, who is a resident of Indore.

NIA sources say he is now being interrogated. He is likely to be produced at the Patiala House Court in Delhi on Monday.

Samjhauta blast occurred on February 18, 2007, on the India-Pakistan 'Friendship Express', the Samjhauta Express. Nearly 68 people died in the blast.

The arrest of Chouhan, believed to be a close aide of Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, key accused in the case, came after he was asked to appear before the NIA headquarters in New Delhi following summons served at his home at Depalpur Tehsil in Indore in Madhya Pradesh, official sources said.

Intense questioning of the accused is underway to ascertain the whereabouts of Sange and Kalsangra, on whom the NIA has announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh, the sources said.

The NIA has already charged Swami Aseemanand, Sadhvi Pragya, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Sandeep Dange, Lokesh Sharma and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji for triggering the explosions in which nearly 68 people were killed. Of these, 43 were Pakistanis. The train operates between Delhi and Lahore in Pakistan.

Chouhan's questioning is also said to have focused on the murder of Joshi, a case which was also taken over by the NIA in June last year.