Hyderabad

All five, including Swami Aseemanand, walk free in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case

The spot inside the Mecca Masjid complex where the bomb blast took place 11 year ago.

The spot inside the Mecca Masjid complex where the bomb blast took place 11 year ago.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court at Nampally in Hyderabad on Monday, citing lack of evidence, acquitted five accused, including Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, in the case of the bomb attack on the Mecca Masjid in the city 11 years ago.

The blast, using an improvised explosive device, killed nine persons inside the masjid near the historic Charminar of Old City.

The others acquitted are Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharath Mohan Lal Rateshwar and Rajendra Choundary.

All five, including Swami Aseemanand, walk free in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case
 

The NIA had originally charged 10 persons with plotting and carrying out the attack on May 18, 2007.

Accused Sunil Joshi of Madhya Pradesh, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, was murdered when the case was investigated.

Two other accused, former RSS pracharak Sandeep V. Dange and RSS activist and electrician Ramchandra Kalsangra, also from Madhya Pradesh, have been eluding the investigators.

Investigations against two others from the same State, Tejram Parmar and Amith Chowhan, are continuing.

 

Tight security

The verdict was pronounced amidst tight security around the Nampally Courts Complex. where all the accused were present.

Police restricted the movement on roads leading to the court. Vehicles were directed to be parked more than a kilometre away from the court hall.

Media barred

The accused one, two, six, seven and eight — Devender Guptha, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Mohanlal Riteshwar and Rajender Chowdary — respectively were present in the court hall when the verdict was pronounced.

The court complex and approaches were taken over by the police from Monday morning. They barricaded all roads leading to the court complex, forcing litigants and lawyers to go through at least two check points before reaching the entrance.

Around 10.30 a.m., they sent out all journalists, saying the judge didn’t want the media around.

Riteshwar and Chowdary presented themselves inside the court first. The remaining accused, facing charges in other cases, were brought later. Around noon, the judge gave his verdict.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 8:34:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/all-5-acquitted-in-the-2007-mecca-masjid-blast-case/article23555542.ece

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