Union home ministry has given sanction, mandated under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), to prosecute two absconding accused-Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalasangra-in the Mecca Masjid blast case. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to file the chargesheet against the two accused in the next few weeks.
On May 18, 2007, a blast at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid left 16 people dead. Initial probe by Andhra Pradesh was focused on jehadi elements, but later on evidence surfaced that it was handiwork of right wing extremists. The second probe in the case was done by the CBI which chargesheeted two accused-
Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma who were part of the group led former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Sunil Joshi.
Later all cases involving right-wing extremists elements were handed over the NIA, which filed a supplementary chargesheet against Swami Assemanand in the Mecca Masjid case.
"The sanction has been given to the NIA prosecute Sandeep Dange and Kalasangra who are absconding. The probe is heading in the right direction," said P Chidambaram during his monthly address to media.
"The NIA investigation has established role of Dange and Kalasangra in Mecca Masjid case. Since the agency's investigation is over against the two accused, a chargesheet will be filed soon," said a senior NIA official.
Besides, the Mecca Masjid case, the home ministry has also accorded sanction to prosecute 12 accused in a case of recovery fake Indian currency notes (FICNs).
The case pertains to circulation of the FICN in India wherein the agency is able to establish cross-border linkages.