Eleven years after a powerful explosion killed nine people and injured 58 people during Friday prayers near the iconic Charminar in Hyderabad, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in the state on Monday acquitted all five accused in the 2007 Makkah Masjid case.
The fourth additional metropolitan sessions-cum-special court for NIA cases had concluded the trial and last week posted the case for judgment on April 16. The Mecca Masjid attack was allegedly carried out by a group of right-wing terrorists 11 years ago on May 18, 2007.
The BJP launched a sharp attack on the Congress after right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand and four others were acquitted in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, claiming that the opposition party’s “appeasement politics” of “defaming” Hindus has been exposed.
All the five men were present in the court on Monday.
“We will examine the court judgment after we get a copy of the same and decide further course of action,” an NIA official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The country’s top anti-terror body can file an appeal against the acquittal of the accused before the high court. The family members of the victims can also approach the high court appealing against their acquittal.
Meanwhile, police sounded an alert in Hyderabad following the judgement and beefed up security in the communally sensitive old city. More than 3,000 policemen and personnel of paramilitary forces were deployed.