On April 16, the five accused in Mecca-Masjid case including Aseemanand were acquitted by the Namapally Court in Hyderabad over lack of evidence. The deadly blast that claimed 10 lives took place on May 18, 2007 and was being investigated by the NIA. After the court acquitted all the accused named by the NIA, several former politicians have come out and slammed the UPA regime for creating an ‘illusion’ of Hindu terror. The investigating agency, NIA, had named several people belonging to right-wing organisations.
Commenting on the acquittal, former under secretary at Home Affairs ministry, RVS Mani also claimed that NIA had engineered the evidence to give the case a Hindu terror angle. He further stated that the acquittal of the accused was “expected”. RVS Mani also blamed the former Finance Minister and Home Minister Shivraj Patil for endorsing the theory of Hindu terror angle. While the accused in Mecca-Masjid blast case walk free today, here is a list of a few of the other Hindu right-wing terror cases that are being investigated by the NIA. A few of the cases are Malegaon blasts in 2006, Samjahuta Express blasts in 2007, Ajmer Dargah blast in 2007, RSS’ Sunil Joshi murder case and Malegaon and Modasa blasts.
As one of the six cases against right-wing terror groups seems to be done and dusted, for now, let’s take a look at the status of other five cases having right-wingers as accused and being investigated by NIA.
Samjahuta Express blasts: The following blasts took place in 2007. As per official reports, some Hindu righ-wingers had placed some improvised explosive devices (IEDs) kept in the moving Samjhauta Express. The explosion took place at near Dewana railway station in Haryana’s Panipat district on February 18. The blast that that took place on a train going to Lahore from Delhi, killed at least 68 people and left scores injured. The deceased were later identified as Pakistanis.
Malegaon blasts in 2006: On September 8, at least four blasts outside a mosque in Maharashtra’s Nashik district had killed over 38 people. Later, the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had submitted a chargesheet and named nine Muslims as accused. However, after the NIA took over the investigations in 2011, it filed a separate chargesheet naming some Hindu extremists. After the chargesheet was submitted, the accused Muslims were set free. The trial in the 12-year-old is yet to begin.
Ajmer Dargah blast in 2007: On October 11, a massive blast at Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Rajasthan’s Ajmer had resulted in the death of over 10 people. Later, while conducting searches, the authorities had recovered at least three more bombs. Earlier in the chargesheet filed, the authorities had named 13 people. The trial against the accused had resulted in the conviction of only three — Sunil Joshi, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel.
Sunil Joshi murder case: While walking back to his alleged hidout at Chuna Khadan locality in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, Sunil Joshi was shot dead on December 29. He was reportedly the leader of an alleged Hindu extremist group consisting of Pragya Singh Thakur, Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange, Ramji Kalsangra, Rajendra Pehelwan, Dhan Singh, Amit Chauhan and Aseemanand. The investigations by the NIA also revealed that Joshi was behind several right-wing terror acts. Later, the NIA had handed over the case to the MP Police claiming that they had not been able to find any evidence that would link his murder to a Hindu terror conspiracy. As per NIA, Sunil Joshi was killed was by his own men as they were unhappy over his alleged ‘misbehaviour’. The trial of the case had concluded on February 1, 2017 with all accused set free.
Malegaon and Modasa blasts in 2008: During Ramzan two blasts took place in Maharashtra’s Malegaon and Modasa in Gujarat on September 29. The blasts took place just a day ahead of Hindu festival, Shivratri. The blast that took place at two locations killed at least eight people. The NIA had later closed the Modasa case stating lack of evidence.