Aseemanand & 4 Other Accused Acquitted By NIA Court On Mecca Masjid Blast Case


Hyderabad: Eleven years after a blast took place in Hyderabad’s iconic mosque, Mecca Masjid at Charminar, causing the death of nine people and injuring 58 others, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here on Monday acquitted all the accused in the case, citing lack of evidence in the matter.

As per report the fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases had concluded the trial in the 2007 case and last week posted the matter for judgment on April 16. The blast took place on May 18, 2007 and following an initial probe by the local police, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet. Eventually, the case was taken over by the National Investigation Agency from the CBI in 2011.

The probe agencies had named ten persons allegedly belonging to right-wing organisations as the accused in the case. However, 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, PTI reported.

The NIA in its chargesheet, had said that the accused were angered by terrorist attacks committed on Hindus and their temples and conspired to avenge such acts with attacks on Muslim places of worship and places densely populated by Muslims. Meanwhile, two other accused in the case, Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra, are currently missing. On the other hand, another accused Sunil Joshi died during the proceedings of the trial, A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited, as per PTI report.

“The court noted that the prosecution could not prove its case; no evidence was presented to prove the conspiracy. Five accused who were arrested have been acquitted by the court today,’’ B Rajvardhan Reddy, defence lawyer said.

Earlier,the pipe bomb explosion at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad killed eight and left 58 others injured. Five others were also killed after police opened fire to control a rioting mob during the Friday prayers in Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007. Hyderabad Police detained at least 38 Muslim youths on suspicion of being involved in the planning and execution of the blast.

After an initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to CBI, which filed a chargesheet. The NIA took over the probe in April 2011. A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents exhibited. The trial in the case was completed last week.