May 25, 2018

Mecca Masjid blast case: Trial period alone serves as punishment?

19 April 2018, 01:55 | Lionel James

All accused in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case acquitted by special NIA court

Mecca Masjid blast accused Swami Aseemanand

The case was taken over by the CBI which initially investigated the case, and in 2011 the case was handed over to the NIA. Harinath, who had no prior experience in dealing with high-profile criminal cases, was member of the ABVPHarinath has been associated with the ABVP, an all India student organisation affiliated to the RSS, since his academic days in Hyderabad. Five more were killed in police firing in violence that followed the blast.

Apart from these cases, Aseemanand's name also cropped up in the Malegaon blast cases of 2006 and 2008.

NIA said all the accused belonged to a group of Hindu extremists led by RSS worker Sunil Joshi who was shot dead on December 29, 2007, in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas town. Claiming that the government has gone soft on such terror cases, he said that this exposes the government's so called fight against terrorism.

In 2017, 64 witnesses, including Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, turned hostile derailing the entire investigation process.

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The chargesheet also mentioned that Aseemanand made a confessional statement before a metropolitan magistrate in Delhi. Without going into whether Modi government tried to do so or not, the fact is certainly could do it. Letting witnesses go and not following up evidence, not contesting bails, and not arguing the prosecution case properly, among others, are all possible.

As Superintendent of police with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), IPS officer Pratibha Ambedkar - based in Hyderabad then - was vigorously pursuing the Mecca Masjid blast case. The trial began in 2015, when the NIA, which reports to the central government, appointed N Harinath a posecutor. The acquittal in the case raises the spectre of a similar collapse in the trial in Samjhauta case, where the NIA itself admitted in its charge-sheet that it had no clue how the explosives were arranged for and how the highly sophisticated bombs were prepared.

Stating that the BJP does not comment on the judgment of the court or working of Indian judiciary, Patra asked how the Congress was labelling today's verdict as wrong when they were celebrating the court verdict in the 2G scam case.

The acquittals gave the Saffronist BJP party an opportunity to take a dig into Congress by saying that it had been proved that there is "no such thing as saffron terror". No conspiracy links established. "There is no saffron terror threat in the country", Kumar told THE WEEK. "The Congress has been exposed like never before", he said.

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