Delivering its verdict in the 11-year-old Mecca Masjid blast case in Hyderabad today, the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court has acquitted all the accused in the case. The blast had claimed around 9 lives. The trials in the case were concluded last week and the special court had reserved the judgement for today. Reportedly the accused were released due to lack of evidence. The accused, Aseemanand along with others will soon be set free following the verdict by the NIA court. The deadly blast took place on May 18, 2007 when people had gone to offer their Friday prayers. The blast that claimed 9 lives had left over 58 people severely injured. The chargesheet in the case was filed by the CBI after the initial investigation was wrapped up by local police. In 2011, the Mecca Masjid Blast case was taken over by the NIA. In the chargesheet filed by the NIA, 11 people belonging to the right-wing organisations were named by the authorities.

However, only 5 of the total 9 accused were tried in the court. Following the investigations, the NIA had arrested Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Devendra Gupta, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary. Meanwhile, the other two accused, Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra are still absconding. Reports suggest that another accused, identified as Sunil Joshi had already died. The concerned authorities are continuing their investigations against the other two accused. During the trials, the NIA had examined as many as 226 witnesses.

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Two accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar are said to be out on bail. The other three accused in the case is lodged in the Central prison under judicial remand. In wake of today’s verdict, accused Aseemanand was also brought to Namapally Court in Hyderabad in the morning. As per reports, a large number of security forces have been deployed outside the court.

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