Aseemanand was accused of planting bombs in one of the holiest Muslim sites in Hyderabad, during Friday prayers.

Aseemanand granted bail in Mecca Masjid blast case Muslim leaders in Hyderabad furiousImage: PTI
news News Friday, March 24, 2017 - 07:30

A Hyderabad court on Thursday granted conditional bail to former RSS worker 'Swami' Aseemanand in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case.

The Fourth Metropolitan Sessions court directed him to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each and not to leave Hyderabad without prior permission.

On May 18, 2007, members belonging to the Hindu militant outfit Abhinav Bharat had allegedly placed two bombs in the Mecca Masjid, considered one of holiest Muslim sites in the city, during Friday prayers when thousands of people had gathered.

Nine persons were killed in the blast that shook the historic mosque in the city. 

As news of the blast spread, tension escalated in Old City, especially the areas around Charminar, with many people taking to the streets, and turning into vandalising mobs, who clashed with the police.

The police resorted to lathi-charges, teargas shells, and firing in the air. 

Five more people were killed in subsequent police firing near the mosque.

Jatin Chatterjee aka Swami Aseemanand was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2010.

Earlier associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he is considered an ideologue of Abhinav Bharat, an extremist organisation involved in the Malegaon and Ajmer blasts.

On March 8, a National Investigation Agency Special Court in Jaipur in Rajasthan held three persons guilty in the 2007 Ajmer blast case, but acquitted Aseemanand and six others.

Two of the three convicts were handed life imprisonment. One convict has since died.

Meanwhile, several Muslim leaders in Hyderabad were furious with the decision.

Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi told the Times of India, "This is a well-planned move by the Narendra Modi government. With bail to accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, the government's claims of fighting terror seem shallow."

Owaisi also told TOI that this was nothing but “Hindutva appeasement".

Alleging that the NIA was "suppressing the truth and making the judiciary helpless in delivering justice," MBT leader Amjed Ullah Khan also said that this "exposed the political agenda of the Sangh Parivar."

"No secular party is ready to react...It's now or never for the people who believe in secular values. Terrorism and fascism in all its forms, whether by the state or any organisation, has to be condemned," he added. 

IANS inputs

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