2007 Mecca Masjid blast case: All accused, including Aseemanand acquitted

New Delhi: A special National Investigation Agency court today acquitted all five accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast which claimed nine lives.

The verdict comes 11 years after a bomb blast ripped through the Mecca Masjid near Charminar.

The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 during Friday prayers had also left 58 others injured.

The fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases had concluded the trial and last week posted the case to April 16 for judgement.

The case was handed over to CBI, which filed a chargesheet but it was subsequently transferred to National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2011.

Around 10,000 people were present inside the mosque at the time of blast. Two live IEDs were found which were later defused by the Hyderabad Police.

However, only five of them — Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary — who were arrested had faced trial in the case.

Two other accused — Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra — are absconding while another accused Sunil Joshi had died.

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

Ten persons allegedly belonging to right wing organisations were named as accused in the case.

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

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