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A special court here Monday extended, by 10 days, the police custody of Hindu group leader Swami Aseemanand in connection with the 2007 Samjhauta Express train blasts in Haryana that killed 68 people.

Aseemanand was brought before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court amidst tight security cover Monday afternoon. The proceedings were in-camera and no media person was allowed to enter the court while he was presented before the judge.

Earlier, Dec 24, the special judge sent Aseemanand to 10-day police custody.

Aseemanand, a member of the right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, was brought here from Hyderabad on a warrant Dec 23. He is also an accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad.

The NIA is interrogating Aseemanand about his alleged links with the people arrested in the Samjhauta Express blasts on tnhe night of Feb 18, 2007, at Diwana village near the industrial town of Panipat, 160 km from here.

The blasts took place in two coaches of the Samjhauta Express, a peace train between India and Pakistan that runs between Delhi and Lahore. A majority of the 68 victims were Pakistani nationals.

The train was going from Delhi to Attari, the last station on the Indian side. The passengers were to board the train to Lahore city the next day (Feb 19).

The CBI, railway police, Haryana Police and other investigating agencies had failed to make any headway in the train blast case in nearly four years.

Aseemanand was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Nov 19 last year from the religious town of Haridwar in Uttarakhand for his alleged role in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad.

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