Hyderabad, Apr 16: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all accused in the sensational Mecca Masjid blast case. Swami Aseemanand was one of the accused in the case. He, along with others, have been set free citing lack of evidence. The detailed judgment in the case will be out in 15 days. 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.
Reacting to the verdict, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said that it is now clear that ‘Hindu terror’ was a conspiracy by the Congress government as all the evidence was collected under them. He added that the verdict has made it clear that the Congress is anti-Hindu.
RVS Mani, former Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, said, “I had expected it. All the pieces of evidence were engineered, otherwise, there was no Hindu terror angle.” “People who perpetrated the attack were protected through misuse of NIA, this is what is alarming. How do you compensate those who suffered and were maligned? Will Congress or anyone else who propagated this theory compensate them,” he added. Here’s who said what on the verdict.
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 ten 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.