Mecca Masjid blast case: 5 acquitted

17 April, 2018, 20:27 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast while three others are lodged in the central prison in Hyderabad under judicial remand

Though there were 10 accused in the case, only these five were tried.

Accused Sunil Joshi of Madhya Pradesh, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, was murdered when the case was investigated.

On May 18, 2007 (Friday), during afternoon prayers at the iconic Mecca Masjid near Charminar, a bomb was placed under a heavy marble platform and was triggered by a mobile phone, killing nine people. Investigations against two others from the same State, Tejram Parmar and Amith Chowhan, are continuing. The premier agency has not been able to arrest any of the absconding accused in these cases since 2014. Till 2011, the Ajmer case was probed by the Rajasthan Police, Samjhauta case by the Haryana Police, and Mecca Masjid case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which to its credit affected the arrest of Aseemanand.

Aseemanand has already been acquitted in the Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast case past year due to lack of evidence.

In a dramatic development that sparked intense speculation in the legal circle, special court judge Ravinder Reddy resigned from his office within hours of delivering the verdict. According to the charge sheet filed, the accused were "angered by terrorist attacks committed on Hindus and their temples" and wanted to "avenge" them by attacking Muslim areas and places of worship.

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The "Number One" accused in the Mecca Masjid blasts case, Devendra Gupta, was acquitted on Monday while he was convicted in the Ajmer Sharif blasts case just a year ago. Later, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing on a crowd outside the mosque.

In addition to the witnesses turning hostile, Swami Aseemanand who had issued a confessional statement retracted the same before the court. The BJP said it had exposed the Congress' appeasement politics and proved that there is "no such thing as saffron terror".

A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited.

Owaisi, in an earlier tweet, claimed that the NIA did not properly pursue the case, leading to the acquittal of the accused. Investigators alleged the Aseemanand had disappeared from his home after the probe began. "On 12 June, he approached me for the second time and said I would no longer be appearing in the case", Salian was quoted as saying in June 2015.

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