Makkah Masjid blast case: All five accused acquitted

Nine people were killed and 58 injured in an IED blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad

Nine people were killed and 58 injured in an IED blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad

Ten people belonging to different Hindu extreme right-wing organization were named as accused by the NIA.

The NIA is still probing the case against the two absconding accused. Her statement had made headlines.

NIA will examine the special court's verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case and will further decide its course of action. Later, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing on a crowd outside the mosque.

The prosecution had charged Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Lt Colonel Shrikant Purohit with plotting the blast.

Hours after he delivered the verdict, judge Reddy, who was also the fourth additional metropolitan sessions judge, put in his papers.

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Police sounded an alert in Hyderabad following the judgment of an NIA court acquitting all five accused in the 2007 Makkah Masjid blast case. CBI filed a charge sheet and later NIA took over the case from the CBI in 2011. They believed the act to be handiwork of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) backed fundamentalist group Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami.

"Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Bhai Rateshwar, Rajendra Choudhary, Lokendra Sharma and Devender Gupta who were facing trial were acquitted in the case, said Aseemanand's advocate J". They are Sandeep V Dange, also former RSS pracharak and Ramchandra Kalsangra, electrician-cum-RSS activist. Out of these, five had been arrested.

Swamy Aseemanand, a resident of Gujarat and head of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, was earlier acquitted in the Ajmer Dargah blast case and is now on bail in Samjhauta Express blast case of 2014. He said the probe was aimed at getting all the accused acquitted. The deadly blast that claimed 10 lives took place on May 18, 2007 and was being investigated by the NIA.

While the verdict will renew the "saffron terror" debate ahead of Assembly elections in several states, for now, no one is responsible for the blasts that led to the death of 14 people. He said the families of the victims will get justice only if the higher courts punish the guilty. Shafeeq Rehman Mahajir, a senior advocate who argued before Bhaskar Rao Commission in the case and who is defending those who were tortured by police initially, told TOI, "Swamy Aseemananda gave confessional statement voluntarily under 164 CrPC before the magistrate initially and retracted". A few of the cases are Malegaon blasts in 2006, Samjahuta Express blasts in 2007, Ajmer Dargah blast in 2007, RSS' Sunil Joshi murder case and Malegaon and Modasa blasts.

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