Mecca Masjid blast case judge’s resignation rejected: Top 10 developments

Following the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict, Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at the NIA over the acquittal of the five accused and assured to provide legal help to the family of the victims

Mecca Masjid blast, Swami Aseemanand

The Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court on Thursday rejected the resignation tendered by special National Investigation Agency (NIA) judge Ravinder Reddy, who delivered the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict. Judge Reddy has been asked to attend to his duties immediately. The NIA court of Reddy had on Monday acquitted all the five Hindu activists accused in the decade-old bomb blast that killed nine worshippers at Hyderabad’s historic Mecca Masjid. The accused included Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand. Within hours, Reddy, who ordered the acquittals, resigned, citing “personal reasons”.

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at the NIA over the acquittal of the five accused in the Mecca blast case. Addressing a rally in Hyderabad, Owaisi said that the investigation agency had turned deaf and blind. Further, he assured to provide legal help to the family of the victims.

Accusing the Congress party of indulging in vote bank politics, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Wednesday asked Rahul Gandhi to apologise to Hindus for labelling them as terrorists. “In pursuit of vote bank politics, the Congress popularised ‘Hindu Terror’ and tried to implicate some Hindu activists in the Meccas Masjid blast case in Hyderabad over a decade ago, though a NIA court acquitted them,” said Shah at an event in Bengaluru.

While the politicians duked it out over the verdict, following the exoneration of the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, the family of one of the deceased demanded justice. Rehana Begum, the younger sister of deceased Saleem, said that her brother had died in the police firing that ensued after the blast took place and held those who planned and executed the blast responsible for his demise.

The blast, which took place on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers at the Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad, killing nine people and leaving 58 injured, was allegedly carried out by a group of right-wing terrorists.

Here are the top 10 developments around the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict, the subsequent resignation of the judge who pronounced the verdict, and the rejection of the resignation:

1) Resignation of judge who delivered Mecca Masjid blast verdict rejected: The High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana today rejected the resignation filed by special NIA judge Ravinder Reddy, who delivered the Mecca Masjid Blast verdict. According to sources, Reddy has been asked to attend to his duties immediately.

On Monday, a special NIA court at Nampally had acquitted all the five accused in the case due to lack of evidence. Hours after the verdict was pronounced, Reddy had tendered his resignation.

2) Owaisi calls NIA blind and deaf after the Mecca Masjid blast verdict: After the acquittal of the five accused in Mecca blast case, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at the NIA, saying that the investigative agency has turned deaf and blind. He assured the families of the victims that he would provide them help in appealing against the verdict. “If the family of any victim wants to appeal against the verdict, then I am ready to provide them legal help. People call NIA a caged parrot, but I will say that it is blind and deaf also,” Owaisi said.

Click here to read → Mecca Masjid Blast case

Advertisements

Mecca Masjid blast case: Aseemanand, others let off; top 10 developments

Swami Aseemanand, a former RSS member and Abhinav Bharat ideologue, was among those acquitted today by a special court in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case

63781573

A special National Investigation Agency(NIA) court in Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case. The Namapally Court’s judgment came in the case regarding the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast, which claimed nine lives. The fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases had concluded the trial and last week posted the case for judgment on April 16. The Mecca Masjid attack was allegedly carried out by a group of right-wing terrorists 11 years ago on May 18, 2007.

The accused who were acquitted on Monday are Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar, and Rajendra Chowdhary. Aseemanand, reported to have been a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh at one point, is an ideologue of the extremist Right-wing Hindu organisation Abhinav Bharat.

The blast, which took place during Friday prayers at the Mecca Masjid, adjacent to the historic Charminar in the Old Hyderabad City, had left nine people dead and 58 injured.

Here are the top 10 developments around the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict:

1) All Mecca blast accused let off: All the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case were acquitted by the Namapally Court on Monday.

2) ‘No Hindu terror angle’: Reacting to the acquittal of all the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, former Under Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs RVS Mani said, “I had expected it.” Mani claimed that “all the pieces of evidence were engineered”, adding that “there was no Hindu terror angle”.

3) Lt Col Purohit declared hostile witness in Mecca Masjid blast case: Lt Col Prasad Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, on February 15, 2018, turned hostile while deposing in a Hyderabad court as a witness in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case. Purohit had been listed as a witness by the CBI in the case related to the blast at the Mecca Masjid. The case was later taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

4) Aseemanand granted bail in Mecca Masjid blast case: A court on March 24, 2017, granted bail to Swami Aseemanand in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case. The court had already granted bail to three others in the case.The court of Fourth Metropolitan Sessions Judge also granted bail to Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai, a co-accused in the case. Special Judge Ravinder Reddy had granted bail to both Aseemanand and Rateshwar with the direction to produce two local sureties of Rs 50,000 each. Aseemanand had been directed by the judge to not leave Hyderabad without the court’s permission and remain present for the trial when required.

5) Mecca Masjid blast case’s brief chronology: The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers had claimed nine lives and left 58 others injured. After initial investigation by local police, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet. Subsequently, the NIA took over the case from the CBI in 2011.

Click here to read → Mecca Masjid Blast case