Hyderabad: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all accused in the sensational Makkah Masjid blast case.
All five key accused including Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharatbhai, Rajender Chowdhary are acquitted by the Namapally Court citing lack of evidence to prove the guilt.
The bomb blast took place at the Makkah Masjid which is adjacent to the historic Charminar in the Old City during Friday prayers was allegedly carried out by a group of right-wing terrorists 11 years ago on May 18, 2007 killed nine people and injured more than 50. Two live IEDs were also recovered by police and defused. Later, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing on the crowd outside the mosque.
The NIA took over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2011, in which ten persons allegedly belonging to right-wing organisations were named as accused.
However, only five of them were arrested and faced trial in the case. The accused arrested are – Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajendra Chowdhary.
Two other accused- Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra- are absconding, while one of the accused, Sunil Joshi of Madhya Pradesh, was murdered while the case was being investigated.