What is the case?
A powerful blast, triggered by remote control, had ripped through the over 400-year-old mosque here during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007, killing nine people and wounding 58. The bomb had exploded in an area where devotees performed ablutions. Two more Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were later found and defused by the police. The incident had triggered violent protests and riots, prompting police action in which five more people were killed.
The case was initially probed by the local police before being transferred to the CBI, and finally in 2011 to the NIA. The CBI had filed one charge sheet, while NIA subsequently submitted supplementary charge sheets in the case.
Ten persons were named as accused in the case but only five of them were arrested and sent up for trial. The five who faced trial included Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohan Lal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Choudhary. Two other accused in the case, Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra are still absconding, while another accused Sunil Joshi had died. The NIA is still probing the case against the two absconding accused.
(Clockwise) Following the verdict, Hyderabad and the Mecca Masjid are on alert with over 1,500 police personnel in deployment; Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar