Judge who acquitted Mecca blast accused resigns citing personal reasons

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As Superintendent of police with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), IPS officer Pratibha Ambedkar - based in Hyderabad then - was vigorously pursuing the Mecca Masjid blast case. Ravindra Reddy quitted the post hours after acquitting all five Hindu activists accused in the 2011 bomb blast at the historic place which had left nine worshippers dead. He cited personal reasons behind this decision.

Families and relatives of victims of the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast are upset with the special NIA court's verdict of acquitting five people, including Swami Aseemanand, in the blast case.

Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) judge Ravinder Reddy reportedly submitted his resignation to the Chief Justice of Telangana.

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In addition to Aseemanand, there were many other witnesses who turned hostile and this proved to be fatal to the case.

The septuagenarian is now on bail in the case pertaining to the blast on the Samjhauta Express train near Panipat in Haryana. She was informed that her services was needed in Uttar Pradesh and she was transferred out from NIA.

But a review of the Ajmer case judgment showed that the trial judge found several procedural loopholes in Aseemanand's statement recorded before the magistrate. After the blast, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing on the crowd outside the mosque. "The prosecution failed to prove allegations", said a counsel informing the media about the verdict. Among the acquitted is one, Devendra Gupta, a former RSS pracharak, who was convicted in March last year in Ajmer Dargah blast that happened the same year - 2007 - as Mecca Masjid blasts. Investigations were continuing against two other accused. The NIA had relied heavily on this statement.

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A total of 10 people allegedly belonging to a group called Abhinav Bharat were accused of plotting and carrying out the blasts. They have not put in a single paper in court after taking over.

The main alleged master mind Swami Aseemanand, a monk and former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member who has been linked to three terror attacks were also among those acquitted in the case. "Justice has not been done", he said, "This was a complete biased investigation".

The BJP on the other hand demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi should publicly apologise for insulting Hindus through its allegations of "saffron terror". "The saffron terror script was written by Congress and I am a living example of that", she said.

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