People losing faith in NIA: Azad on Mecca Masjid blast case acquittals

Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast while three others are lodged in the central prison in Hyderabad under judicial remand

Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast while three others are lodged in the central prison in Hyderabad under judicial remand

Eleven years ago a series of bomb blasts took place in the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on a Friday.

Investigation against accused nine and 10, Tejram Parmar and Amith Chowhan respectively, was going on.

There were a total of eight accused in the case. The CBI had filed one chargesheet, while NIA subsequently submitted supplementary charge sheets in the case. In view of the interstate nature of the crime, the case was handed over to the NIA on April 4, 2011.

The blast in Mecca Masjid was carried out on May 18, 2007.

Accused three and four, Sandeep V. Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra respectively, both from Madhya Pradesh and RSS activists, were still "absconding", the charge-sheet said.

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When the cases were taken over by NIA, the Union Home Secretary was a current member of PM Narendra Modi's council of ministers, RK Singh, handpicked for the top home ministry post by then home minister P Chidambaram. "He has sent the resignation letter to MSJ (Metropolitan Sessions Judge).he has cited personal grounds and it has nothing to do with today's verdict in the Mecca Masjid blast case", the senior judicial officer told news agency PTI. In the police firing which followed to control the protesting mob outside the mosque, 5 more people were killed. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress of defaming Hindu religion by coining the term and demanded an apology from Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

The court examined 226 witnesses during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited.

A resident of Gujarat and head of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Aseemanand was formerly associated with the RSS. Buoyed by the verdict, the BJP claimed that it had "exposed" the Congress" "appeasement politics', while the latter raised questions about the functioning of the NIA. The acquittal follows a disturbing pattern where key witnesses have turned hostile in related cases and NIA has chosen to remain a mute spectator.

The court held that none of the charges framed against the accused were proved. After that reports emerged that he allegedly retracted the statement later. "On 12 June, he approached me for the second time and said I would no longer be appearing in the case", Salian was quoted as saying in June 2015.

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