ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2018

NIA intentionally botched up Mecca Masjid blast investigation, alleges Asaddudin Owaisi

16 April 2018, 09:47 | Melissa Porter

Makkah Masjid blast case: All five accused acquitted

Mecca Masjid blast accused Swami Aseemanand

Hours after delivering the verdict in Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid bomb blast, special NIA judge Ravindra Reddy resigned from his position.He sent his resignation letter to High Court Chief Judge.

The fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases had concluded the trial and last week posted the case for judgment on April 16. After initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to the CBI, which filed a chargesheet. However, only five - Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajendra Chowdhary - were arrested. One of the accused, Sunil Joshi who was a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak from Indore, Madhya Pradesh was murdered during the investigation. He said it was a biased investigation and NIA was not allowed to pursue the case by its political masters. All those arrested and jailed were acquitted in 2008 and the subsequent investigations by the CBI in 2010 revealed that the blast was the handiwork of Hindu rightwing group Abhinav Bharat.

Aseemanand had confessed his involvement in the blast before the court but later retracted his "confession" alleging that he was coerced by the ATS (Anti-Terror Squad).

This is not the only time the NIA has lost cases.

Ten people belonging to different Hindu extreme right-wing organization were named as accused by the NIA.

Soon after the court's order, the BJP accused the Congress of "defaming" the Hindu religion by coining the term "saffron terror" and demanded apologies from Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Right from beginning we had been placing before the court that this is not the statement of confession.

He also said that witnesses in the case were turning hostile after June 2014 and accused the investigation officer was unable to give a "proper statement".

The blast, during Friday prayers, injured 58 people.

"It (acquittal) is happening in each case since the government was formed four years ago.people are losing faith in the agencies", he told news channels. Out of these, 54 witnesses now turned back from the testimony.

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