All five accused in Mecca Masjid bomb blast case acquitted for want of proof

Hyderabad: The National Investigation Agency Special Court at Nampally today delivered judgment in the infamous Mecca Masjid bomb blasts case and acquitted five accused saying that the prosecution has failed to bring home the guilt of the accused Swami Asimananda, Bharat, Devendra Gupta, Rajendra and Lokesh Sharma.

It may be mentioned here that on May 18, 2007, a tiffin-bomb exploded during Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid near Charminar killing nine people and another five died and 58 people injured in the police firing in post-explosion riots. The police took 11 years to investigate the case and examined 226 witnesses. After the verdict in the sensational case was delivered, the police tightened security in the capital city especially in the communally sensitive old city. More than 3,000 policemen and personnel of paramilitary forces were deployed. Senior police officials were monitoring the security arrangements at the historic mosque.

In all, ten people allegedly belonging to the right wing organizations, including Nabakumar Sirkar alias Swami Aseemanand; Devender Gupta; Lokesh Sharma alias Ajay Tiwari, Lakshman Das Maharaj, Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajender Chowdhary were named as accused in the case. Two accused, Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, are still at large. A key accused and RSS functionary Sunil Joshi was shot during investigation. But only five of them were arrested and charge sheeted in the case.

After preliminary investigation by the local police and the CBI, the case was transferred to the NIA, which resumed probe in the case in April 2011. During the trial, 64 of them, including Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, turned hostile resulting in the acquittal of the all the accused.

Deputy Commissioner of Police V. Satyanarayana said they have taken all necessary measures to prevent any untoward incident.  He said the police would keep a close watch on the movement of people at sensitive places through CCTV cameras. He said the police would deal firmly with any attempt to disturb law and order.

Immediately after the blast, police had blamed Harkatul Jihad Islami and rounded up some 100 youths from different parts of the city. Several suspects were arrested and jailed. The CBI later revealed that the blast was the handiwork of right-wing Hindu group.

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