Hyderabad: All accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast that left nine dead have been acquitted by a court in Hyderabad. Among them is Swami Aseemanand, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member who had given a signed confession.
The court said the country’s top anti-terror body, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had failed to prove anyone’s guilt.
On May 18, 2007, over 50 were also injured when the blast ripped through the historic Mecca Masjid during Friday prayers. After initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to CBI, which filed a chargesheet.
The NIA took over the case from the CBI in 2011.
Ten people allegedly belonging to right wing organisations were named as accused in the case. One of the accused, Sunil Joshi of Madhya Pradesh, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, was murdered while the case was being investigated.
Besides Swami Aseemanand, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary also faced trial in the case.
Two other accused — Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra — are missing.A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents exhibited. Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail while three others are in the central prison in Hyderabad.
In March last year, Aseemanand was acquitted in the Ajmer blast.