Hyderabad: Five persons, including Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, who were accused in the Macca Masjid bomb blast here in 2007, were acquitted by the Special Court of the National Investigation Agency on Monday due to lack of any clinching evidence against them.
Nine persons were killed and 58 injured when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast rocked the historic Macca Masjid on May 18, 2007, when around 10,000 people were offering the Friday (Juma) prayers. Two unexploded bombs were later recovered from the Masjid.
In all, 10 persons owing allegiance to right-wing organisations were named as accused in the case. The National Investigation Agency had chargesheeted five persons — Swami Aseemanand, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharath Mohan Lal Rateshwar and Rajendra Choundhary — in the blast case. All the five were acquitted by the court on Monday.
The judge in his observation stated: “I have carefully examined all the documents, all the material placed on record. All allegations could not be proved against any one of the accused. Hence all persons are acquitted.”
Hours after delivering the verdict, Judge K. Ravinder Reddy resigned citing personal reasons for quitting.
While Aseemanand and Mohanlal came to the court on their own, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma and Rajendra Choudhary were brought amidst tight security.
The judgement was pronounced in a heavily guarded, closed court room on the ground floor of the Nampally Criminal Complex. All the five of the 10 accused were present in the court room when the verdict was being pronounced.
Of the remaining accused, Sunil Joshi of Madhya Pradesh, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, was murdered when the case was under investigated.
Cases where right-wing groups faced terror charges
Malegaon-I A series of bomb blasts rocked Malegaon on September 8, 2006, in which 37 people were killed.
Samjhauta Express blast: A blast rocked two coaches of the Samjhuta Express — the only rail link between India and Pakistan — in 2007, in which 68 people mostly Pakistani nationals were killed.
Ajmer Sharif blast: Three people were killed when a bomb planted in a motorcycle near a courtyard of the Ajmer Sharif dargah went off in 2007.
Malegaon-II A powerful explosion rocked the communally sensitive Malegaon again in 2008 in which six persons were killed.