NEW DELHI: The Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Judge, who delivered the verdict in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast, submitted his resignation to the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh on Monday.

Earlier in the day, a special NIA court had acquitted all the 10 accused including Swami Aseemanand in the Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid blast case citing a lack of evidence. The verdict was announced by Judge Ravinder Reddy.

The 10 persons include – Nabakumar Sirkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma alias Ajay Tiwari, Lakshman Das Maharaj, Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajender Chowdhary. All of them are members of right-wing Hindu organization Abhinav Bharat.

On May 18, 2007, a powerful blast killed nine people and injured 58 during Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid near Hyderabad’s Charminar. 

The NIA took over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2011. At the time, 10 people were named as accused by the central probing agency. However, only five – Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar and Rajendra Chowdhary – were arrested.

Two accused persons – Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra – are still absconding. Another accused Sunil Joshi was murdered during the probe.

A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited.

In March 2017, a court in Rajasthan had sentenced Gupta and another convict to life in jail in the Ajmer Dargah blast case.



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