Hours after delivering the verdict in the Mecca Masjid blast case, special NIA judge Ravinder Reddy today submitted his resignation to Andhra Pradesh chief justice, citing personal reasons.
The president of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party (AIMIM) called the resignation “Intriguing” and tweeted:
“Judge who gave acquittal to all accused in Mecca Masjid Blast RESIGNS very intriguing and I am surprised with the Lordship decision.”
Earlier today, all the five accused in the Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid blast case, including Swami Aseemanand were acquitted due to lack of clinching victim.
“The judge in his order observed that not a single allegation levelled by the prosecution could be proved, and hence he declared all the accused acquitted,” said JP Sharma, the defence advocate.
A powerful blast, triggered by remote control, had ripped through the over four-century-old mosque here on May 18, 2007, when devotees had gathered for Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58.
The case was initially probed by the local police before being transferred to the CBI, and finally in 2011 to the NIA, the country’s premier anti-terror investigation agency.
Altogether, 10 persons owing allegiance to right-wing organisations were named accused in the case.
But only five of them, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Devendra Gupta, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary were arrested in the case.
Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra, two other accused are absconding, while another accused Sunil Joshi died.
The NIA examined a total of 226 witnesses during the trial and as 411 documents were exhibited.
Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar were out on bail while three others were lodged in jail. In March 2017, a Rajasthan court had sentenced Gupta and another convict to life imprisonment in the Ajmer dargah blast case.