NIA judge who delivered verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case resigns

Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand

Just within hours after the verdict was declared over the high profile Mecca Masjid blast case of 2007, a judge in Hyderabad submitted in his resignation. He had put in his papers citing "personal reasons" for his abrupt decision.

The acquittal of all the five accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case by the NIA special court in Hyderabad on Monday is bound to prove controversial.

Hindu right-wing group Abhinav Bharat members Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajender Chowdhary, who were charged by the NIA, were all acquitted.

The way the Mecca Masjid case has panned out will boost the cause of cynics who doubt that a criminal justice delivery system exists under India's democracy. He told television channels that accused in several cases were acquitted since the BJP-led government was formed at the Centre four years ago. Seven years down the line and after examining over 200 witnesses the judge Janardhan Reddy acquitted all the five accused.

Two accused persons - Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra - are still absconding. Interestingly when the case was handed over the NIA by the CBI, the red shirt was missing. Five others had been killed later as police opened fire to quell a rioting mob.

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In the first two months of investigations, Hyderabad police, which shot five, rounded up almost 200 young Muslim youths from across the city. NIA and CBI are expected to be the premier agencies, but both of them pointed fingers at each other in the probe which is a sad state of affairs.

Hitting back at the Congress leaders for blaming the BJP government for the acquittals of the accused, he alleged that the opposition party adopted "double standards", as it had welcomed a court order in favour of the accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, involving leaders of the Congress's allies, officials and businessmen. "Will it ensure that justice is done", he said. However, in 2017 April, Jaipur court acquitted Swamy Aseemananda and six others in a case connected to Ajmer Dargah blast case. Joshi, a key accused in the case, was shot dead by unknown assailants in 2007 in Devas, Madhya Pradesh.

The firebrand MP alleged that the Modi government did not even appeal against the bail given to the accused earlier.

Former NIA Director-General Sharad Kumar, who oversaw the trial in this case, refused to comment.

He is facing trial in another case - the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast, where 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, were killed when the train was on its way to Lahore from Delhi.

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