Hyderabad: A special NIA court here is expected to pronounce its judgement tomorrow in the case related to the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast which claimed nine lives.
The fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases had concluded the trial and last week posted the case to tomorrow for judgement.
The blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here on 18 May 2007 during Friday prayers had left 58 others injured.
After the initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to CBI, which filed a charge-sheet.
Subsequently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case from the CBI in 2011.
Ten persons allegedly belonging to right-wing organisations were named as accused in the case. [Related editorial]
[pullquote]The second UPA government’s Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had alleged in January 2013 that the RSS and BJP were behind the so-called Hindu Terrorism, where some Hindus were trained to bomb Malegaon in 2006 and the Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid in 2007. To that, Ram Madhav had said that the then home minister was pandering to real terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawah. In February 2013, after BJP threatened to boycott the parliament during the Budget session, Shinde apologised for his remarks and said that he had no intention to link terror to any religion and that there was no basis for suggesting that terror can be linked to organisations mentioned in his earlier speech.
However, only five of them — Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary — who were arrested had faced trial in the case.
Two other accused — Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra — are absconding while another accused Sunil Joshi had died. Investigations were continuing against two other accused.
A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents exhibited.
In March 2017, a court in Rajasthan had sentenced Gupta and others to life in jail in the Ajmer Dargah blast case.
The Mecca Masjid bomb blast
The bomb exploded around 1:15 pm in Mecca Masjid, a 400-year-old mosque in Hyderabad. The IED contained cyclotol, a 60:40 mixture of RDX and TNT, filled in a 10-inch (250 mm) by 3-inch (76 mm) pipe. The bomb was placed under a heavy marble platform, which took the force of the impact and saved many lives. Two more IEDs were found, one 100 meters away from the blast site and the other near the main gate. Both of them were defused 3 hours after the blast.
The blast occurred near the open air section of the Mecca Masjid. At the time of the blast, more than 10,000 people were inside the mosque premises, for the Friday prayers. The injured were treated at the Osmania hospital in Hyderabad.
Following this Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra were put on alert. State Home Minister K Jana Reddy said the blast, which injured over fifty people in addition to the death toll, could be the act of foreign elements.