2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case: All you need to know

A powerful blast on May 18, 2007, caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid had killed nine people and injured 58.

Published: 16th April 2018 10:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2018 02:33 PM   |  A+A-

An elderly woman walks with a child at the Mecca Masjid during a curfew imposed after communal rioting, in Hyderabad. AP

By Online Desk

A powerful blast on May 18, 2007, caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb rocked the iconic 17th century Mecca Masjid. The bomb which was placed near the Wuzukhana of the mosque killed at least nine people and left 58 injured.

Here is a timeline of the tragic event and what followed after:

- 2007

  • At least, nine people are killed and 58 injured when an IED exploded inside Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad's Old City during the Friday prayers, near Charminar. Five more are left dead after the police open fire in an attempt to quell an angry mob.

  •  Initial suspicion points to terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Tayaba (LeT) or Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI).

  • After the initial investigation by the local police, the case is transferred to the CBI.

  • CBI says activists associated with Abhinav Bharat, a right wing terror outfit, are responsible for the blasts.

- 2011

Bharat Bhai (middle), accused in Mecca Masjid blast case, coming
out of Nampally court after being produced by NIA officials in
Hyderabad in 13 May, 2012. | EPS
  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) takes over the case from the CBI.

ALSO READ | That 'Black' Friday still haunts residents of Hyderabad's Old City

 March 2011

  • NIA officials file a charge-sheet against Nabakumar Sarkar (also known as Swamy Aseemanand) who initially confesses to the role of right wing activists in the blast in front of a magistrate, citing guilt on seeing innocent Muslim boys arrested.

    Right wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat member Swami Aseemanand. (File | PTI )
  • Aseemanand later retracts his 'confession' alleging that he was coerced by the ATS (Anti-Terror Squad).

READ HERE | Echoes of Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts: Three men united by 'nightmares'

-May 2016

  • NIA said there was no evidence to prosecute Lokesh Sharma (also accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case) in the case.

-23 March, 2017

  • A Hyderabad court grants bail to Swami Aseemanand in the case who was arrested on November 19, 2010 from Haridwar.  Earlier in March, Aseemanand was acquitted by a special NIA court in connection with the 2007 Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast case. He was also believed to be involved in the 2006 Malegaon blasts, 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, 2008 Malegoan and Modasa bombings.

-15 April, 2018 

  • Lt Col Prasad Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, turns hostile while deposing in a court as a witness in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case.

  • Purohit said he had worked as an intelligence officer in the Army, and whomsoever (among the accused) he had met, it was only while discharging his official duty. 

    Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit (PTI File Photo)
  • He denied that he was examined by the CBI in the Mecca Masjid blast case.

  • The Supreme Court granted bail to Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in August 2017, after he spent nine years in jail.

-16 April, 2018

FACTFILE (with inputs from PTI)

  • Ten persons, all members of Abhinav Bharat, including Nabakumar Sirkar alias Swami Aseemanand; Devender Gupta; Lokesh Sharma alias Ajay Tiwari, Lakshman Das Maharaj, Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajender Chowdhary were named as accused in the case.

  • However, only five among the arrested -- Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary -- faced trial in the case.

  • Two other accused -- Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra -- have been absconding while another accused and RSS functionary, Sunil Joshi, was shot when the case was being investigated.

  • A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents exhibited.

  • Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail while three others have been lodged at the Central prison in Hyderabad under judicial remand.

  • In March 2017, a court in Rajasthan had sentenced Devendra Gupta and others to life in jail in the Ajmer Dargah blast case.

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