HYDERABAD: Hours after delivering the verdict in the Mecca Masjid blast case on Monday, K Ravindra Reddy, judge of the special NIA court, has resigned. Media reports say he has cited personal reasons for his resignation.
While pronouncing his judgment in the 2007 blast case, the judge had acquitted former RSS pracharak Swami Aseemanand and four other members of Hindu-right group.
In his first reaction, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi termed his resignation as “very intriguing” and added that he is “surprised with the Lordship decision”
After submitting his four-page resignation to the High Court, the judge is believed to have proceeded on leave.
NIA had taken over the Mecca Masjid blast case in 2011 two years after a local court had acquitted more than 20 Muslim youths of the terror charges. During the fresh investigation, NIA had arrested several people belonging to Hindu-right groups. One of them, Aseemanand had confessed his role in the blasts. But since BJP came to power in the centre in May 2014, the case began taking a new turn in favor of the accused.
The serial blasts at the historic mosque had killed nine people during the Friday prayers on May 18, 2007. Soon after the blasts, hundreds of Muslims who were offering prayers in the mosque came out on the street to protest against the attack. The local police opened fire on the protesters, killing five of them.
After the blasts, scores of Muslims were rounded up. Around 90 Muslims (official figure, but unofficial figure is around 200) were detained and many were tortured. At least 21 of them were charge-sheeted. But in 2009, all of them were acquitted of the terror charges by a local court. Some of them were given compensation by the state government for wrongful confinement.
The blast case was later handed over to the CBI and it was taken over by the NIA in 2011. Several people including Aseemanand belonging to Hindu-right groups were arrested during fresh investigation. During his stay in a local jail in Hyderabad, Aseemanand was moved by the good behavior of a young prison mate. When he came to know that the young man was in the jail for the Mecca Masjid blast, his heart changed. Later before a magistrate, he confessed his involvement in the blasts and he was charge-sheeted by the NIA.