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Owaisi blames Modi govt, NIA for 2007 Mecca Masjid blast acquittals

Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said the NIA had carried out a malicious and biased prosecution, which is why the accused could not get conviction.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2018 14:07 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
mecca masjid blast,Makkah Masjid,Asaduddin Owaisi
File photo of chief All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi addressing the media in Hyderabad last year. Owaisi has claimed that many witnesses in the Mecca Masjid blast case turned hostile after 2014, when the BJP came to power at the Centre.(PTI)

Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday blamed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the acquittal of five accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast, saying it deliberately failed to produce evidence against them.

Owaisi, who is the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, said it was a malicious and biased prosecution done by the NIA which is why the accused could not get conviction. He also claimed many witnesses had turned hostile after 2014, when the BJP came to power at the Centre.

On May 18, 2007, a blast near the Charminar in Hyderabad killed nine persons and injured 58. Five others were killed in police firing in the violence that followed the explosion.

An NIA court today acquitted five of the 10 accused named in the charge sheet. The court said the evidence against them was not satisfactory.

“The NIA deliberately did not pursue the case. When the accused got bail, the NIA did not appeal seeking cancellation of bail within the mandatory period of 90 days. This itself shows the prosecution was so biased,” said Owaisi.

Read | 10 things to know about the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case

He questioned the fate of the criminal justice system in the country if this kind of situation continued.

“I blame it entirely on the Narendra Modi government and the NIA for failing to bring the accused to book and let the criminal off. It is a failure of the Modi government,” he said.

Asked whether he would appeal in the Supreme Court against the NIA verdict, the Owaisi said when the NIA was not coming forward to produce the evidences, what else one could do. “We cannot expect anything better from the government,” he said.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 13:42 IST