Who planted the bomb? Tracing the twists in Mecca Masjid blast case probe

Citing lack of evidence against Swami Aseemanand and three former RSS workers, NIA court acquitted all the five accused in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case of 2007.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2018 22:01 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Mecca Masjid blast,Makkah Masjid,Hyderabad
People look on as injured are being taken to the hospital in an ambulance from Mecca Masjid where a bomb blast occured during prayers.(PTI File Photo)

The acquittal of five main accused in the sensational case of Mecca Masjid bomb explosion of May 18, 2017, by an NIA special court in Hyderabad on Monday has brought the case back to square one and raised the question: who planted the bomb in the mosque then?

In fact, soon after the NIA court pronounced the judgement, this question was raised on the premises of court premises itself. “If they are not guilty, who killed our brothers and sisters?” a distraught 70-year old Rahamat Ali asked waiting media persons outside the court hall. “When will the truth come out?”

A few Muslims supposedly related to the victims of the gruesome blast and the subsequent police firing gathered on the court premises, but left quietly without commenting after the judgement was announced.

“We expected this judgement, as the NIA authorities had never shown any interest in producing proper evidences before the court. Right from the day one, the authorities had been diluting the case,” claimed Mohammad Lateef Khan, president of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, who has been fighting for justice to the families of the Mecca Masjid blast victims.

Efforts to trace the whereabouts of victims’ families did not yield any results. “Even I could not reach out to them. I have lost touch with the families long ago and they are said to have shifted their residences,” Khan added.

Read: 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case: A timeline of events

Within hours of the bomb blast, the Hyderabad police registered a case and picked up around 90 Muslim youth from different parts of the old city of Hyderabad, suspecting their involvement in the incident.

While the Hyderabad police began investigating the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation did a parallel probe into the role of the suspected Muslim youth.

The police filed charge-sheet against 21 Muslim youth, but failed to produce any evidence about their involvement. As a result, all of them got acquitted in January 2009.

One of those acquitted, Dr Ibrahim Junaid, a medical practitioner, who was jailed for six months and says he was tortured by the Hyderabad police said “We were proved innocent. Now, the NIA court acquits the people belonging to Hindu extremist group saying there was no proof of their involvement. Who else is then responsible for the Mecca Masjid blast?”

What is interesting is that Swamy Aseemanand, one of the accused in the case, had confessed before the Tis Hazari court in New Delhi in 2010, stating that he was involved in the execution of bombing at Mecca Masjid.

Read: Judge who delivered verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case resigns, cites personal reasons

In his confessional statement, Aseemanand had even named one Muslim youth Abdul Kaleem as the reason for his atonement. During his stay in Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad in connection with the case, he got in touch with Kaleem, who had been jailed and tortured in the past in the same case. “His innocence changed my mind and prompted me to confess my crime,” he reportedly said in the statement.

Kaleem said Swamy Aseemanand was feeling guilty of being involved in the blast and he told me that he would dedicate his life for promoting harmony in the society. “Swamy even told me that he would sell his organs and distribute the money among the families of those Muslims who were killed in the blast and also to those who were falsely implicated in the case,” he said.

But Aseemanand subsequently retracted the statement saying that he was under duress to confess. On March 23, 2017, Aseemanand was granted bail and finally, he has been acquitted in the case.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 21:45 IST