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On 5th anniversary, Mecca Masjid blast is a forgotten case

Last updated on: May 18, 2012 15:28 IST

On 5th anniversary, Mecca Masjid blast is a forgotten case

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Vicky Nanjappa

May 18 marks five years since the blast at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid. However, there has been no breakthrough in case with the investigation going on at a snail's pace. Lateef Mohammad Khan, convenor of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, which has been fighting the case of the Muslim youth who were falsely implicated in the blast, says that the police is trying to pin the blame on two sects of the community while shielding the real culprits. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

Fourteen innocent lives were lost on this day five years ago when a blast ripped through Mecca Masjid in the old city area of Hyderabad.

From the hue and cry over the arrest of innocent youths to the Hindu fundamentalist conspiracy, the case has seen many twists and turns. The investigation is yet to reach a conclusive end.

As per official government records, around 100 Muslim youths were detained following the blasts. All of them were released by the courts during the course of time as the police failed to establish any connection they had with the blasts.

The Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, which has single-handedly fought from day one for the justice of these Muslim youth, says that even today justice has not yet been delivered.

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Image: Policemen stand guard at the site of a bomb blast at Mecca Masjid
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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On 5th anniversary, Mecca Masjid blast is a forgotten case

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CLMC convenor Lateef Mohammad Khan told rediff.com that although the government states that 100 youths had been arrested, the real picture is entirely different.

In my knowledge, there were at least 300 youths who had been detained in this case. The compensation, which has been awarded, has been very unfair. Only 20 persons have got a compensation of Rs 3 lakh. The government says that 80 others have been compensated Rs 20,000, but in reality only 40 have received the amount. The police did nothing but ruin their lives, he said.

What is more ironic is that we had sought action against those police officials who for their selfish reasons arrested these youth. But Instead of taking action against them, the government had rewarded these police and also promoted them. Our battle to this effect to take action against these cops continues till date in the civil court at Hyderabad. The families and also the youth who had faced this torture will get justice only when these cops are booked and action is taken against them, Khan added.

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Image: Onlookers gather at the blast site in front of Mecca Masjid
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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On the investigation front, many Hyderabadis feel that the government and investigating agencies are not serious about investigating this case.

Khan said, "We strongly feel that there is a nexus between a group of Hindutva police officers and Hindutva organisations. Actually the blasts were part of a greater conspiracy hatched by Hindutva elements present in the government and non-government agencies. There is a reason to believe so because immediately after the blasts, police opened fire on Muslims who were helping blast victims and also blamed the Muslims for the blast which is mentioned in the secret report of the police."

"The copy of the confidential report -- a copy of which is with us -- states that the blast was the result of the differences between the Ahle Hadees and Sunnatul Jamaat. Ahle Hadees targeted Sunnatul Jamaat in this blast. The police registered two FIRs. One case was handed over to the CBI while the other was retained by the Hyderabad police."

"The Muslims till date cry foul over this and say that in the name of investigation the police started picking up hundreds of Muslim youths, illegally detained and tortured mercilessly. They propagated through the media that Muslim youths have taken the responsibility for the blast. They also disclosed tampered recordings of narco-analysis tests to the media. This clearly reflects the intentions of the investigation agency, as they wanted to divert the investigation," he claimed.

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Image: Relatives of victims of the blast
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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On 5th anniversary, Mecca Masjid blast is a forgotten case

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On the current status of the investigation, there is nothing much really to harp about for the police. There was initial euphoria over the confessions made by Swami Aseemanand, which was later withdrawn.

Today, the National Investigating Agency is in the picture. While the NIA has claimed that it is aware of who is behind these blasts, it has, however, not yet managed to track down two very important persons alleged to be behind these blasts. The likes of Danger and Ramji Kalsanghra are still on the run and investigators say that their arrests would be vital for the closure of this case.

The NIA, in fact, is still trying to connect the dots in the investigation into the various other blasts in the country, which has been blamed on some Hindu organisations.

However these are merely leads and nothing very concrete has really emerged.

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Image: A cop keeps watch during Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid


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The investigators still have not yet managed to track the source of funding and the group that actually provided the logistics for the blast.

A source in the investigating agency said that the NIA had had to first undo a lot of mistakes that were initially committed by the police when they went the wrong direction with their probe.

A lot of evidence has gone missing and it is very hard to start off an investigation, especially when it has been probed in a complete opposite direction for nearly three years before the NIA took over, the source added.

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Image: Aseemanand, an accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case


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