April 16, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Hyderabad: Five accused, including Hindutva activist Swami Aseemanand, were on Monday acquitted by a special NIA court in Hyderabad in the 2007 case of Mecca Masjid blast which claimed nine lives.
Acquitting the accused, the special NIA court said that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.
The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007 during Friday prayers had also left 58 others injured. Ten persons allegedly belonging to right-wing organisations were named as accused in the case.
However, only five of them — 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.
Two other accused — Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra — are still absconding while another accused Sunil Joshi died. Investigations were continuing against two other accused.
Meanwhile, the Special NIA judge, who on Monday delivered the verdict in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, has resigned. Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge and Judge of NIA Court at Nampally Court Complex Ravinder Reddy, who earlier in the day acquitted five accused in the case, sent a letter to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge and Chief Justice of High Court stating that he was resigning on personal grounds.
All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi called the resignation “intriguing” and said, “Judge who gave acquittal to all accused in Mecca Masjid Blast RESIGNS very intriguing and I am surprised with the Lordship decision.”