Mecca masjid verdict has exposed Cong's appeasement politics: BJP

Nine people were killed and 58 injured in an IED blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad

Later, all were acquitted by a local court for lack of evidence.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi slammed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following the acquittal of all five accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case on Monday.

The blast which took place on May 18, 2007, at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad during Friday prayers had killed eight people and left 58 injured. In the chargesheet filed by the NIA, 11 people belonging to the right-wing organisations were named by the authorities.

In September 2013, Hyderabad High Court set aside the compensation paid to Muslim youths wrongly arrested in the Mecca Masjid blast case, an order that the state government protested against. Two other accused - Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra - were absconding, while Sunil Joshi was murdered. All the accused were related to a radical Hindu group, Abhinav Bharat, which allegedly has close ties with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an ideological wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Hyderabad police arrested a number of Muslim men following the blast and later admitted to torturing many of them. He was earlier acquitted in Ajmer Dargah blast case and also got bail in the Samjhauta Express blast case of 2014.

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Reacting to the court verdict, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that the Congress has long "defamed" Hindus for votes and demanded that party president Rahul Gandhi and his predecessor Sonia Gandhi apologise for terms such as "saffron terror" and "Hindu terror". The court's verdict on Monday, brought no satisfactory news to the victim families, but, it was a great relief for Swami Aseemanand and the others.

The court of the fourth additional metropolitan sessions judge here, which also handles cases of the National Investigative Agency, had heard 226 witnesses and examined 411 documents during the trial.

Aseemanand and Rateshwar are now out on bail, while the other three are behind bars.

The court saw a heavy deployment of security personnel and all the roads leading to Nampally Court were blocked.

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