Mecca Masjid Blast Case Verdict: All Accused Get Acquittal Including Swami Aseemanand

Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast while three others are lodged in the central prison in Hyderabad under judicial remand

In the immediate aftermath of the Mecca Masjid blast on May 18, 2007, the Hyderabad police picked up more than 30 Muslim men on suspicion. Reddy's resignation letter was delivered to the Chief Justice of the Hyderabad High Court.

A special court for National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases here on Monday acquitted all the five accused, including right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast which snuffed the lives of nine persons.

The country's federal investigation agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), failed to prove the charges against the accused, said the court. The case was taken over by the CBI which initially investigated the case, and in 2011 the case was handed over to the NIA.

10 people were named as accused in the case.

The others who were acquitted in the 11-year-old case because of lack of evidence were former RSS worker from Rajasthan, Devendra, Gupta, two former RSS workers from Madhya Pradesh, Lokesh Sharma and Rajender Chowdhary, besides Aseemanand's alleged associate Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar.

The court examined 226 witnesses during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited. Investigations were continuing against two other accused. The NIA did not state whether it would appeal against the acquittal.

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Buoyed by the verdict, the BJP claimed that it had "exposed" the Congress's "appeasement politics" while the latter raised questions about the functioning of the NIA.

NIA officials say they have decided not challenge the Ajmer case verdict, giving finality to Aseemanad's acquittal in the case.

The party also alleged that the investigative agencies were being used as a rubber stamp by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre.

He had allegedly disclosed the conspiracy behind the bomb blasts in different places, including Makkah Masjid. He, however, retracted his statement later in court. In the beginning, this specific high profile case was first transferred to the CBI who then had filed a charge-sheet.

At a political level, the verdict also throws the bogey of "Hindu terror" out of the window. "Will Rahul Gandhi take out a midnight march with a lighted lamp and apologise for defaming the Hindu religion", BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

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