CBI to file chargesheet in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case

The chargesheet will be filed against Devendra Gupta and Lokesh Sharma, who are among five persons already named as accused in the chargesheet filed by the Rajasthan ATS in the 2007 Ajmer blast case, a senior CBI officer investigating the Mecca Masjid blast case told PTI here.

The officer said they had approached the Union Home Ministry to obtain a sanction for prosecution before filing a chargesheet against the accused, but declined to give more details when asked on who else could be named in the chargesheet.

A cell phone-triggered pipe bomb placed inside the Masjid during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007 had claimed nine lives. Five persons were killed in police firing during clashes that erupted after the blast.

The premier investigating agency, which registered a case in June 2007 under various sections of IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in the blast case has so far named six persons, all allegedly having links with a right-wing Hindu outfit, as accused in the case.

It also brought Gupta and Sharma, who were named as accused in Ajmer blast to Hyderabad on June 17 as part of its probe. The duo is presently in judicial remand here. The CBI has named Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra alias Ramji, both natives of Indore, as prime accused in the case, but the duo remains elusive.
Another accused Sunil Joshi was shot dead by three gunmen on December 29, 2007 near his house in Dewas.

Swami Asimanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar was arrested last month by the CBI from Haridwar as the sixth accused in the Masjid blast.

He is under CBI custody and being interrogated for leads on Dange and Kalsangra, whom he had allegedly sheltered earlier. According to the CBI, the blast at Mecca Masjid was carried out after a well-planned recce of the spot by Sharma, who passed on the information to Joshi, Dange and Kalsangra.

The trio came to Secunderabad two-three days prior to the blast and allegedly carried out its task on May 18. The police later established that the bombs used in the blast were assembled in Hyderabad itself.

A local court had earlier given the CBI an additional 90 days time for completing the investigation and filing a chargesheet in the case (after the mandatory period for filing chargesheet within 90 days got over in September). The deadline will end by December 14.

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