Mecca Masjid blast: Owaisi hits out as NIA advised not to appeal Aseemanand acquittal
Mecca Masjid Blast case. According to media reports, the NIA reportedly found it tough to appeal the case as it could not prove any of its allegations with concrete evidence.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has reportedly decided not to appeal the acquittal of the five accused in the 2008 Mecca Masjid blast case, including main accused Swami Aseemanand.
Nine people were killed and 58 were injured in the blasts, which took place as thousands had gathered for their Friday prayers.
Mecca Masjid Blast case
According to media reports, the NIA reportedly found it tough to appeal the case as it could not prove any of its allegations with concrete evidence. Following this, it received legal advice that suggested against challenging the acquittal.
On May 18, 2007, members belonging to the Hindu militant outfit Abhinav Bharat had allegedly placed two bombs in Mecca Masjid, considered to be one of the holiest Muslim sites in the city.
They allegedly placed the bombs in the 17th century monument during Friday prayers, when thousands of people had gathered.
According to media reports, the investigation agency listed 226 prosecution witnesses, of which 64 turned hostile, including Lieutenant Colonel Shrikanth Purohit, who was an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
Responding to the latest development, AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi dubbed it a ‘political decision’.
“The NIA didn’t pursue it in an honest way. They pursued it in a way that Aseemanand should be acquitted by the court. This is a political decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Owaisi said.
Jail and bail to Assemanand
Jatin Chatterjee aka Aseemanand is one of the prime accused in the case and was arrested by the CBI in 2010.
Earlier associated with the RSS, he is considered an ideologue of Abhinav Bharat, an extremist organisation allegedly involved in the Malegaon and Ajmer blasts.
In the last week of March, the Fourth Metropolitan Sessions court in Hyderabad granted him conditional bail and directed him to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each and to not leave the city without prior permission.
In April this year, Owaisi led a delegation and met with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan to submit a memorandum seeking the re-trial of the accused in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case.
The delegation comprised of 20 people including Owaisi and others like Charminar MLA Syed Ahmed Pasha Qadri and top officials of the Majlis-e-Ulema-e-Deccan, United Muslim Forum, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat-ul-Ulema among other such groups.
Speaking to reporters at the time, Owaisi said that great injustice had occurred, as many innocent Muslim youth had been tortured after the terror attack took place.
“We appealed to the Governor to ask the Centre for a retrial so that justice can be done. We hope that the accused will be punished,” he said.