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Acquitted in two cases, Aseemanand still faces Samjhauta case trial

19 April 2018

However, the NIA in its 2013 charge-sheet in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case left out Aseemanand as the agency did not find any link. He was granted conditional bail in 2017 in the Mecca Masjid case. "Will it ensure that justice is done", he said. Five others were killed as police opened fire to quell the rioting mob after the blast. The trial in the Ajmer Dargah blast case resulted in conviction of only three-Joshi, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel-out of nine accused persons. In his deposition to court, the magistrate said Aseemanand was in police (CBI) custody when he was brought before him and after recording his statement he was taken into the police custody. A government that can not bring perpetrators of terror to justice doesn't augur well for any democracy. As many as 42 witnesses have turned hostile.

Instead, the NIA continued to rely heavily on Aseemanand's confession, including his claim that Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad was bombed as a "lesson needed to be taught to Hyderabad since its Nizam had made a decision to leave India for Pakistan at the time of Independence".

Top sources disclosed to Express that it was not only the abrupt transfer of Pratibha Ambedkar, a young officer from UP, that raised several eyebrows within the agency, but the fact that the agency did not even go into an appeal against the bail of the accused became a talking point in NIA circles.

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Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the accused in such cases had been acquitted ever since the BJP-led NDA government was formed four years ago, and claimed that people were losing faith in investigation agencies. The NIA did not challenge the acquittals in the Ajmer case.

The 11-year-old case was previously represented Mr Rama Rao until Mr Harinath was appointed by the NIA in 2015. Many aspects of the NIA probe have remained questionable.

Following the verdict, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a scathing attack on the Congress, for the stance that the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had taken in labelling the Mecca Masjid attack as "Hindu terror". Congress denied that its party presidents or other functionaries had ever used the term, saying its political rivals were levelling "baseless allegations".

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Speaking of the Prosecutor in-charge of the case, Mr N Harinath, is revealed to be closely associated with the ruling BJP along with being an active member of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), both groups who are directly linked to each other through ideology group RSS, while he was studying at Osmania University.

As soon as the verdict was announced, TV channels gave their verdict too: There is nothing called Hindu or saffron terror and it was all a Congress/UPA conspiracy to malign the Hindu community - and by extension India - in general, and the nationalist Sangh Parivar, in particular.

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Acquitted in two cases, Aseemanand still faces Samjhauta case trial