Muslim groups demand fresh probe into Mecca Masjid blast
Muslim groups in Hyderabad have demanded a fresh probe into the 2007 bomb blast at Mecca Masjid in view of the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) revelation that the 2007 blasts at the historic mosque and the Ajmer shrine were linked.
The CBI and Rajasthan's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) believe that the blast at the Hyderabad mosque and the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi dargah in Ajmer are the handiwork of same group.
The CBI, which is probing the Mecca Masjid blast, reportedly got some leads after the Rajasthan ATS arrested Devender Gupta and Chandrasekhar Patidar of the Hindu group Abhinav Bharat in connection with the Oct 11, 2007 blast at the Ajmer dargah that killed three and injured 30 people.
The Mecca Masjid blast May 18 the same year had claimed claimed nine lives. Five people had died in subsequent police firing on protestors near the mosque.
Muslim groups are now demanding that the CBI reopen the mosque blast case and probe the involvement of Hindu activists, including Col P.S. Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who also belong to Abhinav Bharat and are accused in a 2008 bombing in Malegaon in Maharashtra that killed six people.
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the key Muslim political party here, has called for a "thorough probe" to unravel the truth.
MIM leaders alleged investigating authorities were going soft on the real culprits and hence no progress could be made for three years.
They pointed out that no sincere efforts were made to probe the involvement of Hindu terrorist groups and interrogate Sadhavi, Purohit and other accused in the Malegaon blast.
Tameer-e-Millat, a Muslim socio-religious organisation, has urged the government to reopen the case. It regretted that five minutes after the blast the police, without even initial probe, blamed the Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) and other organisations belonging to some Muslim countries.
"It appears some police officials did not want the investigations into the involvement of Hindu outfits," the group said in a statement.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram had said during his visit to Hyderabad last year that the Mecca Masjid blast case had turned "cold" as the two primary suspects were dead.
Police claimed that Shahid Bilal, a key suspect in the case, was killed in a shootout in Pakistan a few weeks after the mosque blast. Shahid, a native of the city, was allegedly working for the HuJI. Another suspect was also presumed dead.
Immediately after the blast in the 17th century mosque, the police blamed Bilal, who was also considered the mastermind behind the terror attacks in other parts of south India during last few years.
The Tameer-e-Millat also alleged that police concocted a story that the blasts in Lumbini Pak and Gokul Chat were carried out to avenge the blast at Mecca Masjid.
The near simultaneous blasts at Lumbini Park and a popular eatery Gokul Chat in Hyderabad Aug 25, 2007 had killed 43 people.
"It is surprising that the alleged accused in the twin blasts were arrested but the culprits in Mecca Masjid blast are still at large," it said.
Muslim groups have also demanded action against police officials who blamed Muslim youths for the Mecca Masjid blast, arrested and tortured them. They pointed out that the police also conducted narco analysis test on some innocent Muslim youths and demanded their immediate release.