NIA to decide after studying Mecca Masjid blast verdict

Ghulam Nabi Azad. DH file photo.

The Mecca Masjid judgement acquitting five people, including Swami Aseemanand, kicked up a political row with the Congress and the BJP locking horns even as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it will decide on future course of action after studying the order.

A senior NIA official said they would examine the judgement and then decide on filing an appeal against the acquittal in the case of blast in Mecca Masjid on 18 May, 2007 during Friday prayers, killing nine people and injuring 58 others.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned the government and investigating agencies for the acquittal, saying, "this is happening in each case since the government was formed four years ago. People are losing faith in the agencies."

However, the BJP accused the Congress of practising "politics of appeasement" in their stand on the court's verdict and targeted the party for using terms such as "saffron terror" and "Hindu terror" by its senior leaders and former Union home ministers P Chidambaram and Sushil Kumar Shinde.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "for its appeasement politics, the Congress targeted and defamed Hindus and the country for merely some votes. That conspiracy has been exposed. The Congress has been unmasked and exposed like never before."

Hyderabad MP and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said justice was not done in the case and that the government did not even appeal against the bail that was given to the accused within 90 days.

"This whole prosecution done by NIA was basically to ensure that all accused are acquitted by courts. I do not complaint against the courts as it is for the prosecution to prove, because this is not a small crime," he said.

CPI National Secretary D Raja said NIA was not able to provide "credible evidence" in the case. "The NIA court has acquitted all the accused for lack of credible evidence. But who are the people who did it? Who are the forces behind the blast? That should be found out," he said.

"The fact remains that there was an attack. People should know who were behind such attacks. Let's see what the government does or the investigating agency does. NIA completely failed to establish the truth behind the blast," he added.

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