Righwing Hindu activists Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajender Chowdhary, against whom the charges were framed, were all acquitted.
"Mission accomplished! My congratulations to NIA for their grand success in Mecca Masjid case". The court didn't even frame charges in the case, and discharged all accused eight persons, including Pragya Singh Thakur a year ago. Seven years down the line and after examining over 200 witnesses the judge Janardhan Reddy acquitted all the five accused.
According to local outlet NDTV, after initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet. Nine people were died in the May 18, 2007 blast and another five were killed in police firing after violence erupted. As many as 64 did in the Mecca Masjid case, including Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit, who is said to have deep links with right-wing bodies and is an accused in the Malegaon case. The other two will now be freed from jail.
Reacting to the verdict, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebuked the Congress for coining the "Hindu terror" and demanded an apology from party's president Rahul Gandhi. Justice hasn't been done in the case.
In addition to the witnesses turning hostile, Swami Aseemanand who had issued a confessional statement retracted the same before the court.
In the Sunil Joshi murder case, the NIA handed over prosecution of the case to the Madhya Pradesh police saying it has not found any evidence to suggest that his murder was linked to the larger Hindu terror conspiracy. The NIA did not challenge the acquittals in the Ajmer case. In Malegaon blasts case, this was exactly what the former prosecutor Rohini Salian had said when she alleged that she had been asked to "go soft" against the accused.
The firebrand MP alleged that the Modi government did not even appeal against the bail given to the accused earlier.
Senior advocate and BJP Member of Legislative Council N Ramchander Rao, who initially represented the accused in the court, told TOI, "Now it is proved that UPA government tried to defame Sangh parivar by misusing the CBI for political gains".
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