18 April, 2018
In a twist to Mecca Masjid blast case, NIA Judge who gave verdict on Monday resigned. As reported by Hindustan Times, among those who turned hostile was Jharkhand agriculture minister Randhir Singh and Govardhan Singh, even as assistant public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma said the case would be hard to prove if three or four more witnesses turned hostile. MBT spokesperson Amjadullah Khan said that the acquittal in Macca Masjid blast case clearly proves the lenient attitude of the BJP government at the Centre and the TRS government in Telangana in pursuing the cases of 'Saffron Terrorism'. Out of a total of 10 accused named in the case, only five faced trial, as one died while others are still absconding.
A powerful blast, triggered by remote control, had ripped through the 400 year-old mosque in Hyderabad on 18 May, 2007, as worshipers congregated for Friday prayers, killing 14 people and wounding 58.
The NIA said Gupta operated for the right-wing party in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh and was a key associate to provide logistics in both cases.
The NIA chargesheeted ten persons, including Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma alias Ajay Tiwari, Lakshman Das Maharaj, Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajender Chowdhary.
All eyes are now on the Samjhauta blast case in which the NIA has filed charges against Hindu extremists and the trial is going on in the matter.
All 21 people were accused of planning and executing the blast but they were all acquitted by the court citing lack of evidence.
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He also referred to former Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs RVS Mani's allegations that the investigation in Mecca Masjid case was carried out with "ulterior motives". Investigation against two others - Tejram Parmar and Amith Chowhan - is still on.
Patra raked up comments of several Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi's remarks reportedly quoted in a USA diplomatic cable in which he had said that radicalised Hindu groups posed a bigger danger to the country.
The firebrand MP alleged that the Modi government did not even appeal against the bail given to the accused earlier.
In May 2016, in an exclusive interview with THE WEEK, the then NIA DG Sharad Kumar had said from 2011 to 2016, the threat of perception of saffron terror had undergone a sea change.
Reacting to their acquittals, the BJP claimed the Congress' conspiracy of "Hindu terror" stands exposed.