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Mecca Masjid Blast: Shivraj Patil Says Witnesses Turned Hostile

All accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast were acquitted by Special NIA Court.

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Former home minister Shivraj Patil claimed that witnesses turned hostile in the 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case, Times Now reported. The Congress leader also told few news channels that the NIA (National Investigative Agency) must appeal against the verdict.

“I don't know what details were there in the chargesheet, have heard the witnesses turned hostile. Neither do we know what sort of cross-questioning was done,” Patil told ANI.

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He further refused to comment on the case and added that only after further examining the details of the trial will he talk about it.

When asked by ANI on Bharatiya janata Party (BJP)‘s spokesperson Sambit Patra hitting out at Congress for coining the term ‘Saffron terror’, Patil refused to comment. However, CNN News18 quoted him as saying: “I did not say anything like 'terror has saffron colour' why should I apologise.”

Earlier in the day, BJP’s Sambit Patra had hit out the Congress after the Mecca Masjid blast verdict. He targeted former finance minister P Chidambaram and Congress for using the term ‘Saffron terror.’

Patra further demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. They should apologise to the nation for “disgracing Hindu religion,” he said.

A special anti-terror court in Hyderabad on Monday acquitted right-wing leader Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove the charges against them.

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

Aseemanand's counsel, J P Sharma, told reporters after the verdict by a metropolitan court for NIA cases that "The prosecution failed to prove allegations against the five accused who faced trial in the case and hence the court acquitted them," Those acquitted are: Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary, Sharma said.

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