Mecca Masjid blast case: Anti-terrorism court acquits Aseemanand, 4 others

Special NIA judge Ravindra Reddy who delivered the Mecca Masjid case verdict
An anti-terrorism court in Hyderabad acquitted Hindutva preacher Aseemanand and four others in the Mecca Masjid blast case of 2007.

And, after the verdict, K Ravinder Reddy, the judge, tendered his resignation, citing personal reasons. In his judgment, he held the prosecution failed to prove "even a single allegation" against the five accused. 

According to sources, Reddy said his resignation had nothing to do with the judgment.

A blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 8, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, should now apologise for defaming Hindus. Congress leaders who had used terms like 'saffron terror' and 'Hindu terror' should also apologise.

Congress spokesperson P L Punia said terrorism is a criminal mentality and it cannot be linked to any religion or community.

"Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party had never used the words 'saffron terror'," he said. 

According to the PTI the Congress president dodged a query by reporters on the case in Amethi.

Meanwhile, The CBI filed a charge sheet against former railway minister Lalu Prasad and others in connection with alleged corruption in handing out a management contract for two IRCTC hotels to a private company, officials said. 

Prasad's wife Rabri Devi, and son Tejashwi were also among the 14 people named by the CBI in the chargesheet.