A war of words has erupted between the BJP and the Congress after a court acquitted right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. While the BJP claimed that the opposition’s party’s “appeasement politics” of “defaming” Hindus has been exposed, the Congress raised questions on the functioning of the National Investigation Agency.
Acquitting the five men in the case, a special anti-terror court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them. “The court noted that the prosecution could not prove its case; no evidence was presented to prove the conspiracy. Five accused who were arrested have been acquitted by the court today,’’ defence lawyer B Rajvardhan Reddy said.
Latching on to the verdict, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress of “defaming” Hindus for votes and demanded that party president Rahul Gandhi and his predecessor Sonia Gandhi apologise for terms such as “saffron terror” and “Hindu terror”.
Patra also said people will teach the Congress “a lesson” in next month’s Karnataka Assembly polls as they had in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when it was reduced to 44 seats. Training his guns on the Congress leaders for blaming the BJP government for the acquittal of the accused, the BJP spokesperson alleged that the opposition’s party has “double standards” and as it had welcomed a court order in favour of accused in the 2G scam case.
Further, he wondered what the UPA government did in its over seven years of rule following the blast. “For its appeasement politics, the Congress targeted and defamed Hindus and the country for merely some votes. That conspiracy has been exposed. The Congress has been exposed like never before,” he said.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned the functioning of the NIA under the Narendra Modi-led government. “It (acquittal) is happening in each case since the government was formed four years ago…people are losing faith in the agencies,” he told news channels.
Reacting to the court verdict, former Union home minister and Congress leader Shivraj Patil said, “I find it very difficult to say whether this is wrong or correct.” He said he was not aware of the nature of chargesheet filed by the probe agency, statements made by the witnesses and the cross-examination done by the prosecution.
Hyderabad MP and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said justice was not done in the case and accused the premier investigation agency of not pursuing the case properly
Nine people were killed and 58 others injured after a massive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers in Hyderabad.