Mecca Masjid Blast Case: Court Acquits All Accused; Hyd On High Alert

Nine people were killed and 58 injured in an IED blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad

Nine people were killed and 58 injured in an IED blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad

After nearly 11 years, the special NIA court in Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case.

A massive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid on May 8, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58. Five persons were killed in subsequent police firing near the mosque as protests broke out after the blast.

June 2009: CBI made The RSS activist Sunil Joshi prime accused. Meanwhile, two other accused in the case, Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra, are now missing. Investigation is continuing against two other accused. In March 2017, a Rajasthan court had sentenced Gupta and another convict to life imprisonment in the Ajmer dargah blast case.

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

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Expressing disappointment over the acquittal of all accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, a witness on Monday said that justice was both delayed and denied. In 2011, the NIA took over the case. His statement, recorded in front of a judicial magistrate at Delhi's Tis Hazari court, accused not fringe organisations, but RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar, for handpicking and financing pracharaks to carry out terror attacks. During my interaction with Kaleem I learnt that he was previously arrested in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case and he had to spend about oneand- a-half years in prison.

Joshi was shot dead in 2007. However, during examination 64 of them, including Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, turned hostile on 14 February 2018.

A high alert has been sounded ahead of the crucial verdict in the Mecca Masjid case.

The defence advocate said that the judge at the fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA in his order observed that "not a single allegation levelled by the prosecution could be proved" and hence he declared all the accused acquitted.

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