New Delhi, April 16: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday blamed National Investigation Agency (NIA) for not producing enough evidence in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast. This comes after a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad acquitted all accused in the blast case. Swami Aseemanand was one of the accused in the case. He, along with others, have been set free citing lack of evidence.
Talking to a news agency, ANI, Owaisi, said, “This whole prosecution done by NIA was basically to ensure that all accused are acquitted by courts. I do not complaint against the courts as it is for the prosecution to prove, because this is not a small crime.”
The blast which took place at the Mecca Masjid which is adjacent to the historic Charminar in the Old City in Hyderabad during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007, had left nine people dead and 58 injured. The NIA said that it will examine the court judgment after receiving a copy of the same and decide further course of action.
The NIA had taken over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2011, in which 10 persons allegedly belonging to right-wing organisations were named as accused. However, only five of them were arrested and faced trial in the case. Those arrested were – Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajendra Chowdhary. Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail while three others were lodged in the central prison in Hyderabad under judicial remand.
Two other accused – Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra – are absconding while another accused Sunil Joshi died during the investigations. According to reports, a total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited.