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Special court acquits all 5 held in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case

File photo of Mecca Masjid blast accused Swami Aseemanand who was acquitted by a special NIA court in Hyderabad on Monday. PTI Photo 

Hyderabad, Apr. 16 (PTI): A special court on Monday acquitted all five arrested for the blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here in 2007 that had left nine dead and 58 injured.

Those acquitted were Swami Aseemanand a.k.a. Naba Kumar Sarkar, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharrma, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar a.k.a Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Choudhary.

Ten persons belonging to right-wing organisations were named as accused in the case, but only the five arrested had faced trial.

Two other accused—Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra—are absconding while another accused Sunil Joshi had died. Investigations were continuing against two other accused.

Police personnel outside the Nampally Court during a hearing on the Mecca blast case, in Hyderabad on Monday. PTI Photo 

The court of the fourth additional metropolitan sessions judge here, which also handles cases of the National Investigative Agency, had heard 226 witnesses and examined 411 documents during the trial.

Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar were on bail while three others have been lodged in the Central Jail here under judicial remand.

In March 2017, a court in Rajasthan had sentenced Gupta and others to life in jail in the Ajmer Dargah blast case.

The blast, during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007, was first investigated by the police. The case was then transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which filed a chargesheet. The NIA took over the case in 2011.

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