All accused in 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid case acquitted by special court

  • All accused in 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid case acquitted by special court

All accused in 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid case acquitted by special court

Aseemanand was an accused even in the 2007 Samjhauta Express attack and the Ajmer the same year - cases that also included other senior right-wing leaders as suspects.

A special NIA court in Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all five persons, including Aseemanand, in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case.

A massive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58 others.

The case was then taken over by the NIA in 2011 and 10 people with links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its sister organization were named in the case.

A high alert has been sounded ahead of the crucial verdict in the Mecca Masjid case.

The others acquitted are Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharath Mohan Lal Rateshwar and Rajendra Choundary. They are Sandeep V Dange, also former RSS pracharak and Ramchandra Kalsangra, electrician-cum-RSS activist. All those arrested and jailed were acquitted in 2008 and the subsequent investigations by the CBI in 2010 revealed that the blast was the handiwork of Hindu rightwing group Abhinav Bharat. The charges on five other accused will continue to be active, as four of them are absconding and the other died. However, after initial probe the case was transferred to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet.

The city police, which initially took up investigation, blamed Harkatul Jihad Islami and rounded up about 100 Muslim youths.

Reacting to the court verdict, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that the Congress has long "defamed" Hindus for votes and demanded that party president Rahul Gandhi and his predecessor Sonia Gandhi apologise for terms such as "saffron terror" and "Hindu terror". Swami Aseemanand was acquitted in that case.

To get testimony, a total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial, and a total 411 documents were exhibited.

Security tightened at criminal courts complex at Nampally.

Aseemanand and Rateshwar are now out on bail, while the other three are behind bars.