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'Mecca Masjid case verdict on expected lines as suspicious probe was carried out'

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 April 2018, 15:44 IST

Following the exoneration of five accused in the Mecca Masjid blasts, a former Home Ministry official on Monday said he had expected the same to happen as misguided investigation with ulterior motives was carried out in this regard.

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court at Nampally today acquitted all five accused in the case, including Nabha Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, due to lack of evidence provided by the agency against the accused.

Former Under Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, R.V.S Mani, said when the NIA took over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation, the counter-terrorism agency was used by the then political dispensation for its own political interests.

"The initial findings of the CBI said one Mohammed Shah, alias Bilal and one Sharifuddin, alias Hamza, these two were the perpetrators; the CBI had collected overwhelming evidence against them, however, the NIA took over and they were used to propagate these cases as Hindu terror cases," said Mani.

Claiming the initial high ranking officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to be former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's 'choicest men', who used to do his bidding, he said, "The first DG was Chidambaram's choicest man, surprisingly, many of the joint secretaries were not kept in the loop about his selection and appointment procedures, the early people were Chidambaram's personal choice who used to do his bidding."

Stating that the politicising of the issue and the thrusting of a religious angle by then politicians was unfortunate, he said Pakistan has been given leeway playing religious politics with the issue.

"We have given a leeway, an exit route to Pakistan. We did so much of good work, collected evidence, rechecked it multiple times, by making these kinds of irresponsible statements, the credibility of all these Intelligence agencies gets demolished," he said.

"Even in the 26/11 incident, they played politics. It could have been and should have been averted, I have written all the details in my book, but political mollycoddling only enabled it to really happen," he added.

Mani also claimed that the alarming fact was that the government agencies were wrongly used to act against the people's interests and protect the perpetrators of many acts of terror in the nation, including Bilal.

Saying that the propaganda of the former politicians has been completely demolished following the court judgment, he asked who will compensate the people for their sufferings.

"How do you compensate the people who have suffered because of this? So many suffered, were maligned, their image and reputations damaged. Will Congress or anyone else who propagated this theory compensate them?" he enquired.

The verdict in the case comes nearly after 11 years. The blast that took place on May 18, 2007, at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad during Friday prayers killed eight people and left 58 injured.

It was alleged to be a result of conspiracy hatched Hindu fringe groups.


First published: 16 April 2018, 15:44 IST