Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case: All five accused, including Swami Aseemanand, acquitted by Nampally special NIA court; judge quits after the verdict

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 10:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2018 08:00 PM   |  A+A-

Right wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat member Swami Aseemanand. (File | PTI )

By Online Desk

The NIA special court in Nampally, Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all the five accused, including the Right-Wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat member Swami Aseemanand, in the Mecca Masjid blast case of 2007.

The powerful blast caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb rocked Hyderabad's iconic 17th-century mosque left nine people killed and 58 persons injured. The bomb was placed near the Wuzukhana of the mosque.

Soon after the blast, a special investigation team (SIT) was constituted by the then Hyderabad police commissioner Balwinder Singh to probe the blast.

READ | Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case: All you need to know

The SIT had picked up over 125 Muslim youths from across the Old City and interrogated them. Almost all of them were detained at a guest house where they alleged torture at the hands of SIT. Later, all were acquitted by a local court for lack of evidence.

A special NIA court pronounced the verdict in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case today.

Here are the UPDATES:

  • The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court judge of Hyderabad K Ravinder Reddy today resigned, immediately after pronouncing the verdict.

  • Congress president Rahul Gandhi dodged a query on the acquittal of Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 blast case.

  • Former Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil here on Monday denied having ever used the term "saffron terror".

  • Lashing out at the NIA probe into the Mecca Masjid blast which had left nine persons dead and 58 others injured, the CPI questioned the agency for its "failure" to establish the truth behind the blast.

  • Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today raised questions on the functioning of the NIA after the verdict.

  • Reacting to the verdict, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday said justice had not been done and that the ruling will weaken the fight against terrorism.

  • NIA will examine the special court’s verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case and will further decide its course of action. (ANI)

  • BJP does not comment on the judgement of the court. We don't comment on working of the Indian judiciary. It's an independent body. Congress said the court was right at the time of 2GVerdict but labelling it wrong today: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. (ANI)

  • Justice is delayed and denied. Innocent people who were killed in the blast have not got justice. We still have faith in our agencies and hope the real culprits are caught: Mohammad Irfan, the man who spotted the second bomb at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid and handed it to bomb squad. (ANI)

  • Ashok Gehlot, Congress says "It is now up to the Govt to examine order and decide if a further appeal is required. As it is a judicial matter I would not like to comment on it."

  • MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi reacts to the acquittal: 

ALSO READ | Alert in Hyderabad after Mecca Masjid acquittals

  • We will examine the court judgment after we get a copy of the same and decide upon the further course of action: National Investigation Agency (NIA) tells ANI

  • I had expected it. All the pieces of evidence were engineered, otherwise, there was no Hindu terror angle: RVS Mani, former Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on all accused in Mecca Masjid blast case acquitted

  • All 5 accused have been acquitted by the NIA special court in Nampally, Hyderabad.

  • Electronic media protests in front of the gates asking them to be let inside the premises.

  • Swami Aseemanand brought to Nampally court.

  • Security tightened at criminal courts complex at Nampally.

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

  • Ten persons allegedly belonging to right-wing organisations 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.

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

  • After the initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet. Subsequently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case from the CBI in 2011.

(with inputs from ENS)

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