A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, which had claimed at least nine lives. The fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases had concluded the trial and last week posted the case for judgement on April 16.
The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 during Friday prayers had also left 58 others injured. After initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI), which filed a chargesheet. Subsequently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case from the CBI in 2011.
Here’s a timeline of the case:
May 18, 2007: Explosion at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad during Friday prayers claims 9 lives and injures 58 others.
June 2010: CBI named RSS activist Sunil Joshi as an accused. He was, however, shot dead by three unknown assailants on December 29, 2007.
November 19, 2010: Swami Aseemanand aka Jatin Chatterjee, a member of Abhinav Bharat, was arrested by the CBI.
2010: CBI arrested other accused namely Devender Guptha and Lokesh Sharma.
December 18, 2010: Aseemanand confessed before the court that he was involved in Mecca Masjid blast.
April 2011: The NIA took over the case from the CBI.
March 23, 2017: Aseemanad granted bail by Hyderabad court, paving way for his release from jail after seven years.
March 31., 2017: Aseemanad released from Chanchalguda jail.
February 15, 2018: Lt Col Prasad Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and a witness in Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, turned hostile.
April 16, 2018: All accused acquitted by special NIA court.
(With PTI inputs)