Hyderabad, April 16: Citing lack of evidence, a special National Investigating Agency court on Monday acquitted all the ten accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. The detailed judgement would be out in about a fortnight. The blast in the masjid in Hyderabad during Friday prayers had left nine dead and 58 injured. The case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation before eventually being taken over by the NIA in 2011.
Following is the timeline leading to the trial:
May 18, 2007: A blast during the Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad leaves nine dead, 58 injured.
June 9, 2007: Case handed over to CBI.
December 29, 2007: RSS activist Sunil Joshi, named by the CBI as an accused, shot dead by unknown assailants.
November 19, 2010: Swami Aseemanand arrested. Deceased accused Sunil Joshi’s aide Indresh Kumar also questioned by the CBI in connection with the same case.
December 18, 2010: Aseemanand confesses he was involved in the blast.
April 7, 2011: NIA takes over the case. Chargesheets filed against ten accused; all members of Abhinav Bharat. Two accused still shown as absconding.
March 23, 2017: Aseemanand granted bail.
March 30, 2017: Aseemanand released from Chanchaljuga jail.
February 15, 2018: Lt Col Prasad Purohit, a key witness, turns hostile. As many as 64 witnesses turned hostile during the hearing. Purohit claims he was never questioned, either by the CBI or the NIA. Purohit is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
April 16, 2018: All accused in Mecca blast case acquitted for want of evidence.
The NIA has said it would decide the future course of action once it has studied the court judgement. The agency had taken the case over from the CBI in 2011.