Business Standard

All 5 accused in Makkah Masjid blast acquitted

IANS  |  Hyderabad 

Eleven years after a powerful explosion killed nine people and injured over 50 during Friday prayers near the iconic here, a (NIA) court here on Monday acquitted all five accused in the case.

A for one of the accused told reporters outside the Nampally criminal court complex that the court held that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges.

Hindu right-wing group Bharat members alias Swamy Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, alias and Rajender Chowdhary, who were charged by the NIA, were all acquitted.

The explosion ripped through the mosque on May 18, 2007. Two live IEDs were also recovered by police and defused. Later, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing on a crowd outside the mosque.

There were a total of eight accused in the case. One, Sunil Joshi, a RSS pracharak, was murdered during the course of investigation. Two other accused, and Ramchandra Kalsangra, both RSS activists, still elude the investigators.

Monday's judgement was about five accused who were chargesheeted by NIA.

A total of three chargesheets were filed by the (CBI) and in the sensational case that took many twists and turns.

The city police, which initially took up investigation, blamed Harkatul Jihad Islami and rounded up about 100 Muslim youths. 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 Bharat. The case was handed over to NIA on April 4, 2011.

The fact-finding committee of the found that the innocent youth were arrested on charges of terrorism and police kept them in illegal confinement and tortured them.

In 2012, the government of then united paid a compensation of Rs.3 lakh each to 26 people who were acquitted and Rs 20,000 each to 50 people others were let off the police after questioning.

According to the chargesheet, the accused were "angered by terrorist attacks committed on Hindus and their temples" and conspired to "avenge" such acts with attacks on Muslim places of worship and places densely populated by Muslims.

The chargesheet also mentioned that Aseemanand made a confessional statement before a in

He had allegedly disclosed the conspiracy behind the bomb blasts in different places, including Aseemanand allegedly retracted the statement later.

Aseemanand was first arrested by the CBI in 2010 but was granted conditional bail in 2017 in the case. He was earlier acquitted in Ajmer Dargah blast case and also got bail in blast case of 2014.

--IANS

ms/mr

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 13:36 IST
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