10 members of extreme Hindu group acquitted in 2007 Mecca Masjid bombing

Mecca Masjid Blast

However, only five - Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajendra Chowdhary - were arrested.

Monday's judgement was about five accused who were chargesheeted by NIA.

NIA alleged that in the confession said "Bomb Ka Jawab Bomb Se Dena Hai" during his meeting with other accused, but the court didn't find merit in this.

RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi's name had also cropped up in these cases, but he was shot on December 29, 2007, in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, allegedly by same group.

Aseemanand and Rateshwar are already out on bail, while three others are in jail. Over 200 witnesses were examined and 400 documents were submitted to the court.

He earlier in the day declared all the accused in the case as not guilty.

The city police, which initially took up investigation, blamed Harkatul Jihad Islami and rounded up about 100 Muslim youths.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi dodged a query on acquittal of right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast by a special anti-terror court. He was granted conditional bail in 2017 in the Mecca Masjid case.

Lawyer Mohammed Lateef Khan, who represents a civil liberties group, alleges that Mr Harinath was deliberately appointed to weaken the case since he has no previous experience in dealing criminal experience or even any expertise in terror attack cases. "It was a political conspiracy".

But NIA's then additional director general NR Wasan had in 2013 written on the case file that Aseemanand's "confession" would require a higher degree of corroboration since he had retracted the statement. "The decision is to be taken at the headquarters' level". Armed personnel from various wings of the State police will be deployed and roads leading to the court will be barricaded.

The NIA officer in charge of the case, Pratibha Ambedkar, was abruptly removed two weeks ago.

In March past year, the NIA had absolved him in the Ajmer blast case. He said that Kaleem who was in a Hyderabad jail was tortured in connection with the same case and hence he chose to spill the beans.

This raises a bigger question mark on the efficacy of our investigation agencies where they have not been able to gather any concrete evidence for the prosecution in such cases.

Sixth, and finally, the argument that since the chargesheet was prepared under Congress-led UP and hence the BJP government could not be accused of trying to influence prosecution does not wash.

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