Mecca Masjid case judge resigns

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Among those acquitted is Swami Aseemanand, a saffron-robed monk, who is also accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts and the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings.

A powerful blast, triggered by remote control, had ripped through the over four centuries-old mosque here during an assembly of devotees May 18, 2007 when they had gathered for Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58. The blast had also incited riots in various parts of the city in which five others lost their lives.

Fifth, a prime accused Aseemanand, who had also been acquitted in Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast case previous year due to lack of evidence, turned hostile. Of the ten, eight were chargesheeted, including Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand. One of the four persons from whom the mobile phone was seized disclosed to ATS and CBI the name of RSS activist Sandeep Dange, who was accused no. 1 in the Mecca Masjid blast case, as the one who allegedly gave the four phones.

Meanwhile, the Special NIA judge, who on Monday delivered the verdict in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, has resigned. It is not clear why the judge submitted his resignation.

Of the remaining accused, Sunil Joshi of Madhya Pradesh, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, was murdered when the case was under investigated.

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However, as reported by India Today in May 2017, the NIA filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case stating that evidence against Sadhvi could not be established and even alleged that the ATS' investigation was wrong. In June 2015, Rohini Salian, a senior Mumbai prosecutor had accused the NIA of asking her to "go soft" on the group of Hindu extremists accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

A total of 226 witnesses were examined during the trial and as many as 411 documents were exhibited.

The National Investigation Agency () took over the case from the in 2011. He said that Kaleem who was in a Hyderabad jail was tortured in connection with the same case and hence he chose to spill the beans.

The more long-term unsafe outcome is likely to be demonisation of Muslims in the guise of investigation of terror offences.

The Congress on Monday said that neither its President Rahul Gandhi nor any other party functionary ever used the term "saffron terror" and that its adversaries were levelling baseless allegations in this regard.

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