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Mecca verdict: Judge’s resignation casts doubt over acquittal; top updates

Mecca Masjid blastHours after acquitting 5 people being probed by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in the 2007 Mecca blast case, NIA special court judge K Ravinder Reddy on Monday tendered his resignation, leading to the speculations that his resignation might be connected with the acquittal. Reddy, who is also the President of the Telangana Judges Association, cited “personal reasons” for his resignation and claimed this decision had nothing to do with Monday’s verdict. Media reports suggested that he had been considering resignation for quite some time. When the NIA took over the Mecca blast case from CBI, the families of the dead victims and those who were injured found some ray of hope that they might find justice and those found guilty would be punished. But those hopes seemed shattered on Monday when the NIA special court acquitted all the five accused, including Naba Kumar Sarkar, alias Swami Aseemanand. Lack of evidence was cited as the main reason by the NIA court while acquitting all the five accused. On May 18, 2007, an improvised explosive device (IED) had torn through Mecca Masjid and killed nine people, besides injuring 58 others. The first chargesheet was filed by the CBI in December 2010. In April 2011, NIA took over the case from CBI and had filed three supplementary charge sheets in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Also Read: Swami Aseemanand; science graduate who donned saffron Here are the top developments in the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict and the acquittal of all the five accused in the case for lack of evidence: 1) VHP says Mecca verdict a slap on UPA’s face: While welcoming the special NIA court verdict, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) termed it as a ‘slap on the face of the ‘anti-Hindu’ UPA government. In his first statement after assuming the charge of the VHP’s working international president Alok Kumar said, “For the sake of minority appeasement, the Congress government had hatched a conspiracy to save real culprits in the name of Hindu terrorism.” He further said Pakistan was the happiest country at that time when innocent Hindus were implicated while real culprits moved freely. 2) Asaduddin Owaisi blames the NIA for acquittal: All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Moday blamed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the acquittal of the five accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. “This whole prosecution done by the NIA was basically to ensure that all accused were acquitted by courts. I am not complaining about the courts as it is for the prosecution to prove, because this is not a small crime,” said Asaduddin Owaisi. 3) Victim’s family demand justice: Following the acquittal of five accused in the 2007 Mecca case, family of one of the deceased has demanded justice. Rehana Begum, the younger sister of deceased Saleem, told ANI that her brother had died in the police firing that ensued after the blast took place. “This all happened due to some those who planned and executed the blast. Now court has acquitted all of them, then who are the real accused persons who done this? We have lost a person in our family who took care of us. The accused should be arrested. We demand justice,” she said. Earlier in the day, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court at Nampally acquitted five accused in the over a decade-long case, citing lack of evidence provided by the NIA against them. Also read: Chronology of the Mecca Blast case 4) Victims and families consider approaching High Court: Some relative of the deceased and injured expressed dissatisfaction on the verdict and have considered approaching the High Court to appeal against the verdict.
Source: Business Standard