Mecca Masjid blasts: All accused, including Aseemanand, acquitted

Aubrey Yates
April 16, 2018

Swami Aseemanand, a saffron-robed monk who has been linked to three terror attacks, was among the five accused acquitted today in the 2007 blast in Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, in which nine people were killed. On May 18 that year, over 50 were also injured when the blast ripped through the historic mosque during Friday prayers. Five more people were killed in police firing to control the agitated crowd after the blast. However, he later said the confession had been "coerced out" of him. Aseemanand allegedly retracted the statement later.

The Mecca Masjid case has faced several setbacks. Patra accused Siddaramaiah of "hobnobbing" with a Muslim outfit, Popular Front of India, while it is being probed by the National Investigation Agency.

Reacting to the development, former Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs RVS Mani said, "I had expected it". Meanwhile, the other two accused, Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra are still absconding.

Tejram Parmar and Amith Chowhan are still being investigated.

Self-proclaimed monk Aseemanand was also an accused in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast but was acquitted in the case. The Special NIA court announced them acquitted after the prosecution failed to produce the proofs.

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There were 10 thousand people present during the blast in the mosque. Nearly all of them were detained at a guest house where they alleged torture at the hands of SIT.

NIA will examine the special court's verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case and will further decide its course of action.

However, the major twist in the case came in 2010, when Aseemanand, apparently moved by the plight of framed, innocent Muslim men, chose to come clean about the role of Hindu extremists in the blast.

However, only 5 of the total 9 accused were tried in the court. We still have faith in our agencies and hope the real culprits are caught: Mohammad Irfan, the man who spotted the second bomb at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid and handed it to bomb squad. The witnesses had earlier said that the accused had used their mobile phones to contact each other before and after the blasts to avoid the phone calls being traced back to them.

Joshi was shot dead in 2007. Those acquitted included Swami Aseemanand, the main accused. "Witnesses turned hostile in the case".

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