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Mecca Masjid blasts: All accused, including Aseemanand, acquitted

Mecca Masjid blasts: All accused, including Aseemanand, acquitted

However, the pitch was queered to some extent in the evening with special NIA judge Ravindra Reddy, who delivered the verdict, resigning under mysterious circumstances. Ravindra Reddy quitted the post hours after acquitting all five Hindu activists accused in the 2011 bomb blast at the historic place which had left nine worshippers dead.

On Monday, the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad acquitted the Swami and four other Hindu right wing members in the Mecca Masjid blast case by saying that none of the charges framed against the accused were proved.

In March 2017, a court convicted three accused, although it acquitted seven of them, including Aseemanad in the Ajmer blast case, despite the fact that 26 witnesses had turned hostile.

Both blasts, separated by five months in 2007, were termed part of the same conspiracy and modus operandi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the basis of the evidence from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), down to the mobile phones with SIM cards being used as timers to trigger them.

Aseemanand was acquitted previous year in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah terror attack. The Lt Col, himself an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, said that his statement was never recorded.




Two other accused - Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra - are absconding while another accused Sunil Joshi died. Local police who initially investigated the case did narco-analysis in which the suspect admitted the crime. Five others were killed as police opened fire to quell the rioting mob after the blast.

Everything appeared to hinge on a confession by an old RSS diehard who goes by the name of Swami Aseemanand and wears saffron robes, given during the UPA period to a court in Delhi.

But NIA's then additional director general NR Wasan had in 2013 written on the case file that Aseemanand's "confession" would require a higher degree of corroboration since he had retracted the statement. Investigations were continuing against two other accused. He was earlier acquitted in Ajmer Dargah blast case and also got bail in the Samjhauta Express blast case of 2014.

While Congress and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) criticised the acquittals, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the verdict exposed the appeasement politics of Congress. He said that justice had not been done to the deceased in the case. Asked by a reporter to comment on the verdict, Rahul ignored the poser and told his driver to move ahead.


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