After acquitting accused in Mecca Masjid blast case, judge resigns
NIA court judge, Ravindra Reddy, who acquitted all accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case earlier today, resigned hours after pronouncing the verdict. They were let off due to lack of evidence. Citing 'personal reasons', Reddy handed his resignation to Chief Justice of Hyderabad High Court. Here are the details about the case.
In another curious development, the NIA officer-in-charge Pratibha Ambedkar was removed two weeks ago. In February 2018, 64 witnesses turned hostile. Aseemanand was granted bail despite signing a declaration that he and other 'Abhinav Bharat' members executed the blast.
On May 18, 2007, a powerful blast ripped apart the four-century-old mosque. Hundreds of devotees had gathered for Friday prayers. The blast, ticked off by a remote control, took 9 lives and left 50 injured. Defence advocate JP Sharma said, "The judge observed that not a single allegation levelled by the prosecution could be proved, and hence he declared all the accused acquitted."
After an initial investigation by local police, the case was handed to CBI and then to NIA. 10 people were accused in the case but only five- Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Devendra Gupta, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary were arrested. Accused Sunil Doshi died while two other accused- Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra are absconding.