Special Prosecutor in Mecca Masjid Blast Case Linked to ABVP

India Majlis-e Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi addressing the media in Hyderabad last year. Owaisi has claimed that many witnesses in the Mecca Masjid blast case turned hostile after 2014 when the BJP came to power

All accused in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case acquitted by special NIA court

However, the pitch was queered to some extent in the evening with special NIA judge Ravindra Reddy, who delivered the verdict, resigning under mysterious circumstances.

Almost 11 years after a bomb blast killed nine worshippers at the historic Mecca Masjid here, a special NIA court on Monday acquitted all five Hindu activist accused.

Questions were raised also when, shortly after passing the verdict, special NIA judge K. Ravinder Reddy submitted his resignation citing "personal grounds".

The "Number One" accused in the Mecca Masjid blasts case, Devendra Gupta, was acquitted on Monday while he was convicted in the Ajmer Sharif blasts case just a year ago.

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Swami Aseemanand, whose real name is Naba Kumar Sarkar, was arrested on November 19, 2010, from Haridwar in connection with the blast at the Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007.

There were a total of eight accused in the case.

Two accused persons - Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra - are still absconding.

The NIA took over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2011. A resident of Gujarat, Aseemanand now faces trial only in the 2007 Samjhauta Express train blast case in which 68 people were killed.

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The five accused in the case walked out freely on Monday after the prosecutor who has links with ruling BJP party failed to prove the charges against the guilty, NDTV reported.

It must be noted here that Swami Aseemanand had confessed to his crime in an interview to the Caravan magazine and in front of the police. Samjauta case has not made much headway either, while the trial in 2006 Malegaon blast is yet to begin. One, Sunil Joshi, a RSS pracharak, was murdered during the course of investigation.

In the first two months of investigations, Hyderabad police, which shot five, rounded up almost 200 young Muslim youths from across the city. In a series of tweets, Owaisi said the NIA and Modi-led government did not even appeal against the bail given to the accused within 90 days. "Will it ensure that justice is done", he said.

Critics say that the cases where Hindu extremists are suspected to be behind the blasts are deliberately being weakened since the BJP government came to power in May 2014. The acquittal follows a disturbing pattern where key witnesses have turned hostile in related cases and NIA has chosen to remain a mute spectator.

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Senior advocate and BJP Member of Legislative Council N Ramchander Rao, who initially represented the accused in the court, told TOI, "Now it is proved that UPA government tried to defame Sangh parivar by misusing the CBI for political gains".

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