All five charged with 2007 Mecca Masjid attack acquitted

All five charged with 2007 Mecca Masjid attack acquitted

Earlier in the day, the special anti-terrorism court acquitted five men accused of being involved in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad that killed nine people on May 18, 2007.

Almost 11 years after a bomb blast killed nine worshippers at the historic Mecca Masjid here, a special NIA court on Monday acquitted all five Hindu activist accused.

All five accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case have been acquitted owing to lack of evidence, according to media reports on Monday.

The CBI was handed over the case after initial investigations by local police.

Two other accused, former RSS pracharak Sandeep V. Dange and electrician-cum-RSS activist Ramchandra Kalsangra from MP are absconding.

Sharma also accused the NIA of making a mockery of the investigative process, "NIA took the accused to Bombay, Ahmedabad, Dang, Navsari for investigation but could not find any incriminating evidence".

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Shoddy investigation without proper scientific and forensic backup makes the case fall like a house of cards.

Those acquitted today included Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Devendra Gupta, Bharat Rateshwar, and Rajendra Choudhary.

The accused belonged to right-wing Hindu organisation Abhinav Bharat floated by Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit who has been named conspirator in the 2008 Malegaon blasts.

This is not the only time the NIA has lost cases.

On Monday, April 16, 2018, five of the accused, those who had been arrested, including Aseemanand, were acquitted of all charges. "Let's see what the government does or the investigating agency does.NIA completely failed to establish the truth behind the blast", Raja said. 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". Nine persons had been killed and 58 injured in the blast.

Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit, a witness in the Mecca Masjid blast case, turned hostile on 15 February 2018 along with 64 others.

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