All key accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, including Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharatbhai, Rajender Chowdhary are acquitted by the special NIA court in Hyderabad .
After initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to CBI, which filed a chargesheet.
Subsequently, the NIA took over the case from the CBI in 2011.
Only five of them — Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary – were arrested and faced trial in the case.
The verdict after 11 years killed nine people and injured more than 50 during Friday prayers near Hyderabad’s iconic Charminar.
In its chargesheet, the NIA had said that the accused were “angered by terrorist attacks committed on Hindus and their temples” and conspired to “avenge” such acts with attacks on Muslim places of worship and places densely populated by Muslims.
The blasts were allegedly carried out with a ‘bomb ka jawab bomb’ (bomb for a bomb) mindset. The chargesheet also mentions that Aseemanand reportedly made a confessional statement before a metropolitan magistrate of Tis Hazari Court in Delhi.
He had allegedly disclosed the conspiracy behind the bomb blasts in different places, including Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. Aseemanand allegedly retracted the statement later. Aseemanand was first arrested by CBI in 2010 but was granted conditional bail in 2017 in the case.
He was earlier acquitted in Ajmer Dargah blast case, and has also got bail in Samjhauta Express blast case of 2014.