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Mecca Masjid blast: All accused, including Swami Aseemanand, acquitted

16 April 2018

The Accused, numbering ten, allegedly belonged to the right-wing organizations.

February 15, 2018: Lt Col Prasad Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and a witness in Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, turns hostile. While 10 people from Hindu rightwing groups were initially named accused, five were arrested-Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary. One of the accused, an RSS functionary, Sunil Joshi, was shot when the case was being investigated. They are Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra.

The NIA said they will examine the court judgment after they get a copy of the same and decide further course of action.

In March 2017, Gupta and another accused were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Rajasthan court in the Ajmer Dargah blast, which also happened in 2007.

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The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 during Friday prayers was caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb placed near wazukhana, a spot where ablutions are performed.

Soon after the blast on May 18, 2007, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing as cops tried to control a mob.

Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar were on bail while three others have been lodged in the Central prison here under judicial remand. A total of 58 persons suffered serious injuries, some of lost their limbs.

The CBI was handed over the case after initial investigations by local police.

Mecca Masjid blast: All accused, including Swami Aseemanand, acquitted