CBI opposes bail pleas of Mecca Masjid blast accused

Hyderabad: The CBI on Friday opposed the bail pleas of two accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blasts saying that the case was "sensitive" and there was a possibility of "communal clashes" if the duo were released.

Arguing against the bail applications of the two accused, Devendra Gupta and Lokesh Sharma, CBI senior public prosecutor T V Ramana told the XIV Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court here that the duo, allegedly having links with a right-wing Hindu outfit, carried out blast at the Mecca Masjid and targeted a particular community.

"It's a sensitive case wherein the accused along with two others who are presently on the run hatched a conspiracy to target a particular community by placing bombs at their religious places killing several persons," the CBI counsel said.

"A decision on granting bail should be done after taking into consideration the society's interest first rather than based on individual pleas," Ramana requested the court and expressed his apprehension that if the duo were enlarged on bail it may lead to "communal" clashes.

The investigations into the case were still on and the central probe agency was likely to make more arrests in the case and if Gupta and Sharma are released on bail it may further create problems in arresting the absconding accused, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kaslangra, he said.

Earlier, the defense counsel Ramchander contended that the CBI had not filed a chargesheet so far in the Mecca Masjid case and that his clients were under judicial custody since June 17.

After hearing the arguments, the judge posted the matter for orders to November 15.

Gupta and Sharma, who are among the five persons who have been named as accused in the chargesheet filed by Rajasthan ATS in the 2007 Ajmer blast case last month, are presently under judicial custody here in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast.

A cell phone-triggered pipe bomb placed inside the Mecca Masjid here during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007 had claimed nine lives. Five people were killed in police firing in the clashes that erupted after the blast.

CBI brought Gupta and Sharma to Hyderabad on June 17 this year as part of the investigation in the Mecca Masjid blast case.

Meanwhile, the investigating agency also filed a memo in the court for clubbing of the blast case and recovery of an unexploded bomb from the Masjid premises.