Fifteen years after Mecca Masjid blast, quest for justice continues

The  Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.

The Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

It has been fifteen years since the body of a 12-year-old boy, who once stood a little over four-foot tall, and eight others, were found after an improvised explosive device shattered a calm Friday afternoon at the Mecca Masjid. Four years ago, five persons accused of being behind the blast, were acquitted. Since then, kin of the victims have been seeking justice.

Official records state that the blast claimed the life of the 12-year-old Md Sameer. The others who were killed were fruit seller Md Jaffer (25), autorickshaw driver Sk Mohd Nayeem (25), Md Riyaz (18), Shafiq-ur-Rahman (27), Yusuf Khan (36), Sajeed Ali Khan (28), and Md Azeem (17). A ninth body, according to the document, was of an unknown person. As many as 58 persons were injured and were rushed to nearby government and private hospitals for treatment.

In their quest for seeking justice after the acquittals, family members of the victims who had lost their lives filed an appeal in the Telangana High Court. Later, two of the four appellants filed a separate writ petition in the court seeking to challenge Section 21 (5) of the National Investigation Agency Act of 2008, which put a bar on appeals after a period of 90 days as the appeal had crossed this time period. However, the High Court dismissed the petition given that the Union of India and the NIA had challenged in the Supreme Court a judgment of the Delhi High Court which dealt with an appeal similar in nature, on grounds that the apex court was seized of the matter.

Later, two persons, one the father, and the other, the wife, of the blast victims moved the Supreme Court with a special leave petition seeking to declare Section 21 (5) of the NIA Act as ultra vires, stating that they violate Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The case was taken up in January this year, and notices to the respondents were sent.

Soon after the blast, the Hussaini Alam police registered a case under section 302, 307, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code. Relevant section of the Explosive Substances Act were also invoked. Another case was registered on May 25, 2007. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation took re-registered the case and began investigation. The investigation was then transferred to the NIA.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 1:53:36 am |