Special NIA Court: Judge Resigned after verdict in Mecca Masjid blast

Wednesday, 18 Apr, 2018

Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi raised questions over the resignation and called it an "intriguing" move. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hailed the verdict as the exposure of appeasement politics done by the Congress, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) condemned the acquittals ordered by the NIA court.

Soon after the verdict, The NIA had come in for attack by oppostion parties, including the Congress and AIMIM. After nine years of trial, charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Sadhvi Pragya and Lt Col Shrikant Purohit were dropped by a Special NIA court on December 27, 2017.

Reddy, who is the fourth Metropolitan Sessions Judge, cited "personal reasons" in his resignation letter sent to the Chief Justice of the Hyderabad High Court, said informed sources. However, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case.

In fact, the police - NIA in this case - in a way, cooperated with him and did not oppose his bail application either in Samjhauta train blast case or in Mecca Masjid blast case, which it should have done routinely. Another accused, Sunil Joshi, an RSS functionary, was shot dead on Dec 29, 2007, in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.

On 18 May 2007, a pipe-bomb exploded at the Mecca Masjid near Charminar in Hyderabad during Friday prayers killing 9 and injuring 58 others. Two more Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were later found and defused by the police.

The judgment was pronounced in a heavily guarded, closed courtroom on the ground floor of the Nampally Criminal Complex. "The UPA government victimised our saints". 10 people including Swami Aseemanand were named accused in the case.

The Jaipur court said the investigating agency had deduced that the RSS Parcharak had purchased the SIM cards, to time and trigger the bombs kept at Ajmer Dargah. Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange were shown as absconding. Tejram Parmar is on bail.

A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial, in the course of which 64 of them turned hostile.

Reacting to their acquittals, the BJP claimed the Congress' conspiracy of "Hindu terror" stands exposed.

"Show me a video or a sound bite wherein Rahul Gandhi or any other Congress functionary is seen using the term "Bhagva aatankwad" (saffron terror)". Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said people were losing faith in NIA. "It is mere rubbish". "There is no saffron terror threat in the country", Kumar told THE WEEK.