New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI) Welcoming the special anti-terror NIA court verdict acquitting all five accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, the VHP termed it as a “slap on the face” of the previous “anti-Hindu” UPA government.

In his first statement after assuming the charge of the VHP’s working international president, Alok Kumar said, “For the sake of minority appeasement, the Congress government had hatched a conspiracy to save real culprits in the name of Hindu terrorism.” He further said Pakistan was the happiest country at that time when the innocent Hindus were implicated while real culprits moved freely.

The Hindus were reduced to the status of ‘second-class citizens’ during the Congress government, Kumar said.

A special anti-terror court today acquitted the five right-wing activists including Swami Aseemanand in the 2007 blast case, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.

A massive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58.

The case was initially probed by the local police before being transferred to the CBI, and finally to the country’s premier anti-terror investigation agency NIA in 2011.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.