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

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

"The prosecution failed to prove allegations", said a counsel informing the media about the verdict. The reason is yet not known, with some reports suggesting that he resigned "due to personal reasons".

Nine people were killed and 58 others were injured when the explosion ripped through the mosque during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007. The bomb had exploded in an area of the mosque where devotees performed ablutions. In the riots that followed the blasts, five persons were killed in police firing. While the NIA was formed in 2009, it was only in 2011 that the Centre made a decision to shift these cases to the NIA after the arrest of Aseemanand from Haridwar on November 19, 2010, and his purported judicial confession revealing that right-wing terror groups were responsible for Ajmer, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blasts between 2006 and 2008.

The endemic failure of the police and other investigating agencies is further compounded by the long delays in filing charge-sheet and by the perennially clogged judicial system.

RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi's name had also cropped up in these cases, but he was shot on December 29, 2007, in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, allegedly by same group.

The 10 persons include - Nabakumar Sirkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma alias Ajay Tiwari, Lakshman Das Maharaj, Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajender Chowdhary.

The judgment was pronounced in a heavily guarded, closed courtroom on the ground floor of the Nampally Criminal Complex. Seven years down the line and after examining over 200 witnesses the judge Janardhan Reddy acquitted all the five accused. Over 200 witnesses were examined and 400 documents were submitted to the court. He is an accused in the 2007 Samjhauta blasts case.

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Immediately after the blast, police had blamed Harkatul Jihad Islami and rounded up about 100 youths from different parts of the city. He was granted bail in 2017 in Mecca Masjid blasts case as well. Aseemanand and five others have been chargesheeted by the NIA. Claiming that the government has gone soft on such terror cases, he said that this exposes the government's so called fight against terrorism.

Accused Swami Aseemanand was brought to court in Hyderabad earlier in the day. "It was a political conspiracy".

The NIA has already closed the 2008 Madosa case, citing lack of evidence.

In March previous year, the NIA had absolved him in the Ajmer blast case. "Will it ensure that justice is done", he said.

"For its appeasement politics, the Congress targeted and defamed Hindus and the country for merely some votes. They targeted people in the saffron robe and framed them under frivolous charges", said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

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