Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Mecca Masjid blasts: All accused, including Aseemanand, acquitted

Mecca Masjid blasts: All accused, including Aseemanand, acquitted

The accused have been acquitted due to lack of evidence in the case.

A special anti-terror court today acquitted Hindutva preacher Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, holding that the prosecution failed to prove "even a single allegation" against them, lawyers said.

NIA will examine the special court's verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case and will further decide its course of action.

2007 Mecca Masjid case: Swami Aseemanand, one of the ten accused, was acquitted on Monday.

There were 10 people named in the chargesheet filed by the NIA, which included Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra; both affiliated to the RSS and absconding, along with Tejram Parmar and Amit Chowhan, who are in judicial custody.

Only five accused- Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary - were arrested and faced trial in the case.

Then after that, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took the case in its hands from the CBI in 2011. Heavy security has also been deployed at the Nampally court premises.

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The blast ripped through the mosque during Friday prayers.

The Hyderabad police arrested a number of Muslim men following the blast and later admitted to torturing many of them.

Aseemanand and Rateshwar are now out on bail, while the other three are behind bars.

Initially, the Hyderabad police who investigated the case suspected it to be the handiwork of Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI), a fundamentalist group supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), said a report in the Hindustan Times.

During the trial, over 220 witnesses were questioned and more than 400 documents were presented to the court.

Gupta, acquitted in this case, was sentenced to life in jail past year for the Ajmer Sharif dargah blast.

In 2013, the high court in Hyderabad cancelled the bail granted by a lower court to Gupta and Sharma - former members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

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