Hyderabad: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) intentionally botched the probe into the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has alleged. He said the probe was aimed at getting all the accused acquitted.
A special NIA court on Monday morning acquitted all 10 persons accused in the case. The court had cited a lack of evidence for the acquittal.
“This whole prosecution done by the NIA was basically to ensure that all the accused are acquitted by courts,” alleged Owaisi. “I do not have any complaint against the courts, as it is for the prosecution to prove. This is not a small crime,” he said, reported news agency ANI.
The Mecca Masjid blasts case is a politically charged one, considering it was a key background to the ‘saffron terror’ tag that the Congress and other parties have used to attack the BJP and Sangh outfits.
The NIA court acquitted Swami Aseemanand, and nine other accused, all of whom are members of right-wing Hindu organization Abhinav Bharat.
On May 18, 2007, a powerful blast killed nine people and injured 58 during Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid near Hyderabad’s Charminar.
The NIA took over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2011. At the time, 10 people were named as accused by the central probing agency. However, only five – Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajendra Chowdhary – were arrested. Two of the accused have not been traced yet, and one was killed.
A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited.
The BJP reacted to the verdict with an attack on the Congress, saying the acquittal has exposed its ‘appeasement politics’.