Saturday, 18 August 2018

2007 Mecca Masjid Blast Case: Swami Aseemanand, 4 Others Acquitted, Judge who delivered verdict resigns

Hyderabad:

The Judge who acquitted Swami Aseemanand and  4 others in the Mecca Masjid Blast Case resigned today immediately after delivering the verdict. Justice K Ravinder Reddy had ruled that the prosecution failed to prove charges against the five accused.

Hours after acquitting right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, the judge at the special anti-terror court in Hyderabad submitted his resignation on Monday.

Special NIA judge Ravindra Reddy who delivered the Mecca Masjid Verdict resigned immediately after delivering the verdict. Image Courtesy ANI

K Ravinder Reddy cited personal reasons for his resignation. But the timing of the decision has raised questions.

Earlier in the day, he had ruled that the prosecution failed to prove charges against the five accused, 11 years after a massive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid on May 8, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58.

A special anti-terror court on acquitted right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.

On May 8,2007, a massive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid on May 8, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58.

Counsel for Aseemanand, JP Sharma, told reporters after the verdict by a metropolitan court for NIA cases that “The prosecution failed to prove allegations against the five accused who faced trial in the case and hence the court acquitted them. Those acquitted are Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary,” Sharma said.

The case was initially probed by the local police before being transferred to the CBI, and finally in 2011 to the NIA, the country’s premier anti-terror investigation agency.Ten people with alleged links to Hindu right wing organisations were accused in the case. However, only five of them who were acquitted on Monday faced trial.

Two other accused — Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra — are absconding, while Sunil Joshi was murdered. Investigation is continuing against two other accused.

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

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