Justice delayed and denied: Mecca Masjid blast witness


A special NIA court here is expected to pronounce its judgement tomorrow in the case related to the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast which claimed nine lives. Verdict came almost eleven years ago, a pipe bomb ripped through the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, killing eight people and injuring 58 others.

The CBI was handed over the case after initial investigations by local police. The NIA took over the case in 2011.

The accused in the case were Swamy Aseemanand - a right wing Hindu ideologue, Lokesh Sharma, Rajendra Chowdhary, Tejram Parmar, Amith Chowhan and former RSS workers Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Devendra Gupta and Sunil Joshi. Meanwhile, two other accused in the case, Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra, are now missing.

- 'NIA is blind and deaf parrot': AIMIM chief Asaddudin Owaisi questions the NIA probe in the Mecca Masjid court verdict, adding that "justice has not been done" in the case.

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In November 2016, four important NIA witnesses turned hostile.

- The theory of "Hindu terror" was a concocted one. Investigation is continuing against two other accused. Five more people were killed in police firing to control the agitated crowd after the blast. Aseemanand was first arrested by CBI in 2010 but was granted conditional bail in 2017 in the case. The court's verdict on Monday, brought no satisfactory news to the victim families, but, it was a great relief for Swami Aseemanand and the others.

Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar were out on bail while three others were lodged in jail. Meanwhile, the lawyers of the accused said that the prosecution was not able to prove the charges framed against the accused following which they were set free.

The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 during Friday prayers was caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb placed near wazukhana, a spot where ablutions are performed. Earlier, he was acquitted in the Ajmer dargah blast case.