Hyderabad: As many as 100 Muslim youth were lodged in prison for months together soon after Macca Masjid bomb blast in May 2007 by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the then city police commissioner Balwinder Singh to probe into the case.
The SIT headed by H. K. Gupta, the then joint commissioner of police (administration) of the city, picked up scores of Muslim youth based on suspicion and booked cases against nearly 100 youngsters, including a medico, and remanded them to judicial custody by booking a case against them under various Sections of the IPC and the Arms and Explosives Act.
As the probe of the CBI exposed the involvement of Hindu militants in the Macca Masjid and the Ajmer Dargah blasts, the local youth were let off from the case.
The then erstwhile AP government had decided to pay a compensation to them as their involvement in the case was not proved and recommendations were made by the national commission of minorities to the state government to undo the injustice.
The government paid Rs 3 lakh each to 20 persons and Rs 20,000 each to 70 youths who were taken in to custody by the Hyderabad police.
Old city stays calm as verdict is delivered
Despite anger writhing largely over the acquittal of five persons, who were accused in the Macca Masjid blast case, the Old City reacted soberly with no incidence of violence reported from any place.
Life moved normally across the Old City though armed policemen stood guard at all sensitive places. Since morning, a contingent of armed policemen were stationed near the Macca Masjid and towards afternoon the security was scaled up.
Syed Imtiyaz, a fruit vendor who conducts business at Charminar bus stand said, “There was a time when people reacted violently to show their anger. There were days when we did not put up our push carts for weeks at a stretch near the Charminar. Now things are different”.
Around 2,000 policemen, including the Rapid Action Force were deployed across the Old City. “Police took security measures based on past experiences. But now, people are more sober and instead of protests and stone pelting, candle light vigils are done,” S. Q Masood, a social activist from the Old City, said.
Markets bustled with people till late in the evening as usual. “After the court verdict was announced, the shop keepers exercised caution, anticipating violence. Nothing happened and it turned out be a regular day for us,” Inayath, a shop keeper at Gulzar Houz, said.