Mecca Masjid blast case: All accused acquitted; the timeline of events

Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand

The powerful blast caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb rocked Hyderabad's iconic 17th-century mosque left nine people killed and 58 persons injured.

The court said the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the top anti-terror body, had failed to prove anyone's guilt in the case. Two others, Sandeep Dange, former RSS pracharak and Ramchandra Kalsangra, an RSS activist from Madhya Pradesh, are yet to be arrested. Finally, the probe was handed over to NIA which made several arrests including Swami Aseemanand and Lakshman Das Maharaj. The NIA in its chargesheet, had said that 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. Later, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing on the crowd outside the mosque. He further said that he never used the word Hindu terror.

- The evidence against the accused is not satisfactory, the court said while delivering the verdict, as per Hindustan Times report.

A special NIA court in Hyderabad Monday acquitted five persons, including Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case.

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The court of the fourth additional metropolitan sessions judge here, which also handles cases of the National Investigative Agency, had heard 226 witnesses and examined 411 documents during the trial. "Witnesses turned hostile in the case". Interestingly, NIA officials till date have not filed a charge sheet against Tejaram, who has been accused of being one of the two bomb planters at Mecca Masjid. Later, all were acquitted by a local court for lack of evidence.

Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar were released on bail and three others remained in jail. Armed personnel from various wings of the State police will be deployed and roads leading to the court will be barricaded.

Gupta, acquitted in this case, was sentenced to life in jail previous year for the Ajmer Sharif dargah blast.

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