Mecca Masjid Verdict
16 Apr

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A total of 10 persons allegedly belonging to right-wing organizations were named as the accused in the case.
  • 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.

HYDERABAD Mecca Masjid Verdict: Eleven years after powerful bombs ripped through Hyderabad’s historic Mecca Masjid, killing nine people and wounding 58, a special NIA court on Monday acquitted all five accused, including Swami Aseemanand due to lack of clinching evidence.

Some of the accused even left the premises after the fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases announced its judgment.

“The judge in his order observed that not a single allegation leveled by the prosecution could be proved, and hence he declared all the accused acquitted,” said JP Sharma, the defense advocate.

Old City erupted in anger as many family members of victims wondered who is to be blamed for the blast. “Who killed our brothers and sisters? Will we ever come to know the truth,”? questioned Rahmat Ali, an elderly gentleman standing outside the packed courtroom.

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Soon after the blast on May 18, 2007, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing as cops tried to control a mob.

The high profile case was handed over to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet and later the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over from the CBI in 2011.

Altogether, 10 persons owing allegiance to right-wing organizations were named as accused in the case.

But only five of them, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Devendra Gupta, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary were arrested in the case.

Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra, two other accused are absconding, while another accused Sunil Joshi died.

 In Mecca Masjid Verdict The NIA examined a total of 226 witnesses during the trial and as 411 documents were exhibited.

Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar were out on bail while three others were lodged in jail. In March 2017, a Rajasthan court had sentenced Gupta and another convict to life imprisonment in the Ajmer dargah blast case.