Devendra Gupta convicted in Ajmer, freed in Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts case

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Meanwhile, Special NIA judge Ravindra Reddy resigned on Monday, hours after delivering judgement in the Mecca Masjid blast case. Police had found two more Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and defused them.

Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra, who were also accused in the incident, are absconding.

"For its appeasement politics, the Congress targeted and defamed Hindus and the country for merely some votes. There is no such thing as saffron terror", Punia said.

The BJP leader noted that then home minister Shinde had used the term "saffron terror" and "Hindu terror" in his address at a 2013 Congress conclave in Jaipur in which then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were present. He told television channels that accused in several cases were acquitted since the BJP-led government was formed at the Centre four years ago. Accused five - Sunil Joshi of Madhya Pradesh, former RSS pracharak - was murdered as per the charge sheet filed by the NIA.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party chief Asaduddin Owaisi reacted to the resignation in a tweet, saying, "Judge who gave acquittal to all accused in Mecca Masjid Blast RESIGNS very intriguing and I am surprised with the Lordship decision (sic)".

Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit, a witness in the Mecca Masjid blast case, turned hostile on 15 February 2018 along with 64 others. But the trial court convicted two of the other accused - Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel. In all these years after the blast, more than 200 witnesses were examined by the court, and over 400 document was exhibited.

He was once described by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mouthpiece "Organiser" as the "hero of Dangs", the tribal belt of Gujarat where Nabh Kumar Sarkar, better known as Swami Aseemanand, was active as a key coordinator of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, an RSS affiliate. Qs is what will be left of criminal justice system if such biased prosecutions continue (sic). "We are awaiting a copy of the judgment copy and will forward it to the New Delhi headquarters for legal advice and permission", an official said.

The court, Sharma said, held that the confessional statement of Aseemanand was not voluntary.

On October 11, 2007, an explosion at the 13th century shrine of Sufi mystic Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer during Ramzan killed three persons.

The BJP attacked the Congress after the verdict.