New Delhi: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday issued summons to 13 Pakistani witnesses for deposing before it in connection with the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case in which 68 people were killed.
The witnesses are required to appear before a trial court at Panchkula in Haryana from July 4 onwards.
A NIA spokesperson said the summonses to the witnesses will be sent through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs.
As per the laid-down procedure, the summonses will be sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad which will hand over them to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.
Sixty-eight people were charred to death in the blasts in two coaches of Samjhauta Express in Panipat on February 18, 2007.
Initially, SIMI activists were believed to be behind the blast, but, later, it turned out to be a handiwork of a group having right-wing leanings.
The NIA has filed a charge-sheet against several people, including Swami Aseemanand, who recently walked free in the Ajmer Dargah blast case.
It had on June 20, 2011 filed the charge-sheet before the special court at Panchkula under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against five accused persons – Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji.
The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy which resulted in bomb blasts in the Attari Express (Samjhauta) train near Panipat.
The Samjhauta Express (Attari Express) is a bi-weekly train that runs on Wednesdays and Sundays – between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan.
(With PTI inputs)