The hopes of Lokesh Sharma and Devender Gupta, the two Abhinav Bharat activists accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case in Hyderabad, of coming out of jail have shattered as the Andhra Pradesh high court has rejected their bail petition.
Acting on a petition filed by the National Investigation Agency, a division bench comprising of Justice K C Bhanu and Justice Ramachandra Rao rejected the bail granted to the duo by the Nampally court in Hyderabad.
The court had granted the bail to the members of Abhinav Bharat on November 12 last year. Challenging the decision, NIA had appealed to the high court to direct the lower court to reconsider the bail.
They were granted bail two years and five months after the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested them in connection with the blast in Mecca Masjid. The blast during Friday congregation on May 18, 2007 had killed 9 people.
Apart from these two the CBI and NIA have also arrested other accused Swami Aseemanand and Bharat Mohan Lal Ratehswar alias Bharat Bhai, Chandrashekhar Leve, Rajindar Choudhary alias Samuddar Choudhary and Kamal Chouhan.
According to the investigating agencies, two other accused Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange were still absconding while another suspect Sunil Joshi was killed, allegedly by his own associates.
Image: Policemen stand guard at the site of a blast in front of Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007.
Photograph: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters