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Mecca Masjid blast suspects acquitted: Blow to 'Hindu terror' claim?

16 April 2018

It may be mentioned that in the Makkah Masjid blast, 9 worshippers were killed and 58 were injured.

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad on Monday pronounced its verdict in the sensational Mecca Masjid attack which was allegedly carried out by a group of right-wing terrorists 11 years ago on May 18, 2007.

A lawyer of one of the accused told reporters outside the Nampally criminal court complex that the court held that the prosecution failed to prove the charges. The accused arrested are - Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajendra Chowdhary. In the case, 10 persons belonging to hardcore Hindutva organizations were named accused, out of which only 5 are facing the trial.

The blast took place on May 18, 2007, when the Friday prayers were underway. In addition to it, armed police pickets have also been posted there.

The case was initially probed by the local police before being transferred to the CBI, and finally in 2011 to the NIA, the country's premier anti-terror investigation agency.

Two other accused, former RSS pracharak Sandeep V. Dange and electrician-cum-RSS activist Ramchandra Kalsangra from MP are absconding.

To get testimony, a total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial, and a total 411 documents were exhibited.

Swami Aseemanand, along with a co-accused Mohanlal Rateshwar, was granted bail in the Mecca Masjid blast case in March 2017 by Special Judge Ravinder Reddy in Hyderabad.

Mecca Masjid blast suspects acquitted: Blow to 'Hindu terror' claim?