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All accused in 2007 Mecca Masjid Blast acquitted

16 April 2018

The court, however, would deliver its verdict for only five accused.

A special NIA court acquitted all five accused citing lack of evidence in the 2007 blast which killed 9 people and injured 53 others. The NIA took over the case in 2011.

The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 during Friday prayers was caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb placed near wazukhana, a spot where ablutions are performed. In this case, a charge sheet was filed against eight out of the ten accused in this case, which included the name of NabKumar Sarkar aka Swami Aseemanand. During my interaction with Kaleem I learnt that he was previously arrested in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case and he had to spend about oneand- a-half years in prison. Two others, Sandeep Dange, former RSS pracharak and Ramchandra Kalsangra, an RSS activist from Madhya Pradesh, are yet to be arrested.

Patra also raked up several comments by Congress leaders and a USA diplomatic cable which had allegedly quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying that radicalised Hindu groups posed a bigger danger to the country. The other accused, Sunil Joshi had died. After a thorough investigation, the case has been transferred to the CBI.

In 2013, the high court in Hyderabad cancelled the bail granted by a lower court to Gupta and Sharma - former members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. However, he was acquitted in the Ajmer Shareef Dargah blast case, having been given the "benefit of doubt" after several witnesses turned hostile. He also allegedly admitted to playing a role in the Malegaon blasts and the Samjhauta Express blasts. The men were all eventually released and paid a total of Rs 70 lakh in compensation.

This, however, is not the first time such doubts have been cast.

The city police, which initially took up investigation, blamed Harkatul Jihad Islami and rounded up about 100 Muslim youths. There is also elaborate security in place at the Nampally court complex where the NIA court is located.

All accused in 2007 Mecca Masjid Blast acquitted