Hyderabad Mecca Masjid Blast: Twists, turns and a dead end

Tension palpable in the Old City of Hyderabad after the special NIA court acquitted all five accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case

Published: 17th April 2018 04:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2018 10:02 AM   |  A+A-

Two men sit by the Wazookhana, a place where devotees wash their hand and feet, where the 2007 blast took place | VINAY MADAPU

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: JP Sharma, counsel for Swamy Aseemanand, who was named as A1 (accused no 1) by the NIA, said during the course of the Monday’s trial that ‘saffron terror’ has never existed. Defending Assemanand, Sharma said that when he got the legal aid in Hyderabad, he was taken to Ajmer, Malegaon and all other places where blasts had taken place.

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

“He was taken to Delhi to please the political bosses. His confessional statement. This statement did not match with any of the evidence, and it is not admissible by the court. After receiving the full judgment copy, we will get to know more,’’ Sharma said With regard to another accused Bharath Mohanlal Rateshwar role, the defence counsel said, “For six years he was not framed in the case. When he did not cooperate with the police in Panchkula case, they have booked him in two other cases. People who face NIA had only two options. Either be an accused or be a witness. They (Investigators) forcibly took the confessions of the witnesses.”

He added: “The prosecution alleges that the witnesses turned hostile, but they were telling truth, and the court believed them acquitting all the persons. The prosecution tried to get as much as documents and evidence against the alleged accused, but the court did not rely on them.” NIA IG Alok Mittal said, “The NIA will examine the judgment after we get a copy of the same and decide future course of action.” B Rajvardhan Reddy, the defence counsel alleged that the then chief investigating officer from the CBI T Raja Balaji had abruptly dropped the charges against 26 persons, who were suspected to be having links with terror outfit Harkat-Ul-Jihad Al Islami (HUJI) .

File photo of Mecca Masjid blast accused Aseemanand who was
acquitted by a special NIAcour in Hyderabad on Monday. | PTI

‘’Four of them even confessed to the blasts.’’ The counsel said that four of the suspects picked up by the city police soon after registering cases at Hussaini Alam police station, were taken to Bengaluru for Narco analysis test and they confessed of executing the bomb blast.

“The investigating officer had told the court that he found them innocent to his satisfaction, but not to the court’s satisfaction,” defense counsel said. JS Rana, another defence counsel, said, “During initial probe it was detected that 10 kg RDX was brought to the city from Bangladesh and four persons admitted to have placed the bombs in the masjid. Even after admission of guilt, they were pronounced innocent in court.”

Soon after the investigators told the court that the Swamy had confessed to having committed the offence, the investigators linked him to Malegaon blasts of 2006 and 2008, Samjahuta Express blast, Ajmer blasts, alleged Rana.

‘No proof against accused’

“One of the reasons which the court observed to acquit the accused was that prosecution failed to provide evidence against the five who faced trial. The investigators had been focussing on the confession of Aseemanand, but they did not have any proofs that showed the conspiracy theory showed by them,” said the defence counsel.

Replying to a query, counsel B Rajvardhan Reddy said, “The investigation agency told court that Rajendar Chowdary and Tejaram Parmar (both accused) planted the bombs in the masjid. But, they do not have even a single evidence. The agency did not file charge sheet against Tejaram as they knew that they do not have evidence against him. As they claimed in the charge sheet, the investigators had no evidence about meetings in which accused participated,” the defense counsel said.

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