Judge K Ravinder Reddy who delivered verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case resigns

Special NIA court judge K Ravinder Reddy acquitted five men accused of being involved in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad that killed nine people on May 18, 2007.

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court judge of Hyderabad K Ravinder Reddy resigned on Monday, barely hours after acquitting the five accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, a senior judicial officer said.

Reddy handed over his resignation to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge.

Reddy cited personal reasons for his resignation, and said it had nothing to do with today’s judgement.

He said, he was considering resigning for quite some time, the senior official told PTI.

Earlier in the day, the special anti-terrorism court acquitted five men accused of being involved in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad that killed nine people on May 18, 2007.

The NIA court cited lack of evidence against Swami Aseemanand, former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker from Rajasthan Devendra Gupta, two other former RSS workers –Lokesh Sharma and Rajender Chowdhary –from Madhya Pradesh and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar, who was allegedly a close associate of Aseemanand.

NIA said all the accused belonged to a group of Hindu extremists led by another RSS worker Sunil Joshi who was shot dead on December 29, 2007, in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas town. Since Joshi died before the chargesheet was filed, his name was not sent up for trial.

Three others: former RSS worker Sandeep Dange and RSS activist Ramachandra Kalsangra, an electrician, and Amit Chouhan are absconding.

The blast, during Friday prayers, injured 58 people. Five more were killed in police firing in violence that followed the blast.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which took over the case from local police, and the NIA later interrogated 226 witnesses.