Hyderabad: A special National Investigation Agency court is expected to pronounce judgment on Monday in the 2007 case of Mecca Masjid blast which claimed nine lives. 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 blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 during Friday prayers had left nine dead and 58 injured.
— After initial investigation by the local police, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which filed a charge sheet. Subsequently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case from the CBI in 2011.
— Ten people allegedly belonging to Right-wing organisations were named as accused in the case. However, 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.
— Two other accused — Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra — are absconding while another accused Sunil Joshi died. Investigations were continuing against two other accused.
— A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited.
— Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are out on bail while three others are lodged in the central prison in Hyderabad under judicial remand.
— In March 2017, a court in Rajasthan had sentenced Gupta and another convict to life in jail in the Ajmer Dargah blast case.