Mecca Masjid blast
The police, under the impression the blasts were backed by the ISI, had allegedly picked up scores of Muslim youth and reportedly tortured them.
PTI file photo

“I feel like crying. It’s a shame that all the accused have been acquitted,” said an emotional Abdul Kareem, who was wrongly detained by the Hyderabad police in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast, which took place in 2007.

On Monday, the Nampally special court acquitted all the accused in the case, citing lack of evidence.

Reacting to the verdict, Kareem added, “This just proves that laws in India favour only Hindus. It is a testimony to how discriminatory the country is.”

On May 18, 2007, two bombs ripped through Mecca Masjid during the Friday prayers, killing 9 people and injuring 58 others.

Immediately after the blast, it was believed that the terrorist act was carried out by the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami with the backing of  Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The Hyderabad police picked up a few Muslim youth based on this line of investigation and allegedly tortured them for days and wrongly imprisoned them, before they were later acquitted by the court.

A fact-finding committee was formed by the National Minorities Commission which also submitted that the youth had been subjected to torture.  

According to the report, the youth were blindfolded and bundled into cars before being taken to farmhouses where they were allegedly subjected to severe physical and mental torture.

Since then, the government has sanctioned sporadic compensation to several such youngsters.

“The torture I endured still haunts me. My body hurts all the time. I am deeply disappointed with the judgement,” said Kareem.

He used to work as a sales executive and lived in Bahadurpura. He said that he was abducted by the police and confined to 15 days of custody. He was allegedly subject to third-degree torture while in confinement.

While the Special Court has quashed the case, the National Investigation Agency, which is probing the case, is likely to approach the High Court.

However, Kareem has lost all hope in the judiciary. “It will be mere formality (if the agency approaches the High Court). After several years of the case proceeding, they will be acquitted from there too,” he rued.

Kareem’s friend, Abdul Wajid, too was picked up by the police on false charges.

“The acquittal of all the accused and the way the entire Kathua rape case played out only shows us that the law works in favour of Hindus. I am very pained by the judgement,” he lamented. “My friends and relatives don’t talk to me any more, fearing that they might be harassed by the police. Although I’ve been proven as innocent, my character has been tainted.”

The case was later handed over to the CBI, which concluded that the Hindu terror outfit Abhinav Bharat was behind the blast.

The prime suspect in the case was Aseemanand who also was allegedly involved in the Malegaon blast, but was acquitted.