11 years on, Hyderabad blast case back to square one | India News


HYDERABAD: Twenty months after it took over the Mecca Masjid blast case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed to have made two key arrests from Madhya Pradesh in December 2012.

The NIA had nabbed Rajendhar Chowdary, a 35-yearold farmer, and Tejram Parmar, a 31-year-old mason, for allegedly planting bombs at the historic mosque on May 18, 2007. Later, the NIA did not even include Parmar’s name in the chargesheet and Rajendhar was acquitted, bringing the terror narrative — that started as a cross-border Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) conspiracy and ended as a domestic Hindutva terror plot — back to square one.

After the blasts, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Hyderabad police launched a probe and arrested several persons suspected to be HuJI operatives. Five suspects, including an MBA student, were even sent to Bengaluru and subjected to narco analysis at Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, where they allegedly confessed to have carried out the terror strike with RDX supplied by their associates from Bangladesh.

Subsequently, the Mecca Masjid blast case was handed over to the CBI and two cases were registered by it in June and October, 2007. When the CBI arrested Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma and Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Aseemanand in 2010, who were also accused in the Ajmer Dargah blast case, the terror narrative took a new turn from HuJI to Hindutva.

Almost four years after the CBI started its probe into the case and filed a chargesheet accusing persons affiliated to various Hindu religious outfits of having planned and executed the blasts to avenge terror strikes on temples, the probe was handed over to the NIA in April 2011.

The NIA continued the line of investigation pursued by the CBI and arrested three more persons, including the alleged bomb planters — Rajendhar and Tejram — along with a textile businessman from Gujarat, Bharat Bhai.

With the special court acquitting all the five accused, defence counsel claimed that the case was politically motivated and evidence was fabricated, while some victims rightly said that “justice delayed is justice denied”.

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