New Delhi: After 11 years, special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Monday acquitted all 5 accused including Swami Aseemanand also alleged mastermind of Mecca Masjid blast case in Hyderabad. The court based its ruling on lack of evidence.
Mecca Masjid bomb blast claimed 9 lives and left 58 people injured on May 18, 2007. The blast took place at daytime when the Friday prayers were underway.
The court in its judgment reportedly said that the five have been acquitted due to lack of the evidence.
Initially, after the blast, it was believed to be an act of terror, which was done by a group called Harkat-ul-JIhad-al-Islami with the backing of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The Hyderabad city police went witch hunting and picked up a few Muslim youths on this line of investigation and allegedly tortured them for days and wrongly imprisoned them before they were later acquitted by the court. When local police failed in cracking the case it was transferred to CBI.
Picking up clues from the unexploded bombs found inside the Masjid, the CBI found that a group of right-wing terrorists were responsible for the blast.
In 2010, the CBI traced the forensic evidence from the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and arrested Lokesh Sharma and Devender Gupta, both former members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), later the case was transferred to the NIA in 2011.
According to media reports the investigation agency listed 226 prosecution witnesses, of which 64 turned hostile, including Lieutenant Colonel Shrikanth Purohit, who was also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
The NIA said they will examine the court judgment after they get a copy of the same and decide further course of action. A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents exhibited.