Mecca Masjid blast: All accused, including Swami Aseemanand, acquitted

Mecca Masjid blast: All accused, including Swami Aseemanand, acquitted

Police personnel outside the Nampally Court during a hearing on the Mecca blast case, in Hyderabad on Monday.

Eleven years after a blast took place in Hyderabad's iconic mosque, Mecca Masjid at Charminar, causing the death of nine people and injuring 58 others, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here on Monday acquitted all the accused in the case, citing lack of evidence in the matter.

A special NIA court here today acquitted five persons, including Swami Aseemanand, in the case.

The Accused, numbering ten, allegedly belonged to the right-wing organizations.

A high alert has been sounded ahead of the crucial verdict in the Mecca Masjid case.

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Six accused belong to Madhya Pradesh: Sandeep Dange, a former RSS worker, Ramchandra Kalsangra, an electrician and RSS worker, property dealer Lokesh Sharma, farmer Rajender Chowdary, Tejram Parmar and Amith Chowhan. Reports suggest that another accused, identified as Sunil Joshi had already died.

The court said the country's top anti-terror body, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), had failed to prove anyone's guilt. However, after initial probe the case was transferred to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet.

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

In the last week of March, the Fourth Metropolitan Sessions court in Hyderabad granted him conditional bail and directed him to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each and to not leave the city without prior permission. However, he was acquitted in the Ajmer Shareef Dargah blast case, having been given the "benefit of doubt" after several witnesses turned hostile. He got bail in the 2014 Samjhauta Express blast case.

This, however, is not the first time such doubts have been cast. The men were all eventually released and paid a total of Rs 70 lakh in compensation. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the police in and around the court premises for the big verdict. After which the Hyderabad police detained few Muslim youths for investigation and tortured them for days.

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