Mecca (Makkah) Masjid is a mosque in the old city of Hyderabad. On May 18, 2007 a bomb blast occurred in the mosque and 14 people died, including 5 from police firing. After the bombing, the Muslim community started a riot and police had to quell the rage.
The investigation agencies have put the onus of the blast on RSS, a Hindu Activitists organization.
Two people were initially charged with the crime. One was Swami Aseemanand. Initially, he was said to have turned Government approver and had even written a letter apologizing for his crime (out of guilt) and also confessing to the act.
Later he took it all back. Saying, he was coerced.
The prime accused in the string of terror cases involving alleged Hindu extremists, Swami Aseemanand, has told the Ajmer Chief Judicial Magistrate that his confession to the CBI was under coercion from investigation agencies. And so was his letter allegedly suggesting he wanted to turn approver.
Interestingly, he was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on December 24, 2010. The coerced confession happened during his custody with the NIA. Although Aseemanand has been painted by the media as a “Hindu Extremist”, the truth is that he was working with Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Andaman & Nicobars.
The other person who was charged was Sunil Joshi. He was an RSS activist. But interestingly, he was found murdered in Dewas, MP in 2007. The Investigation agencies alleged that this was the work of RSS themselves.
So, the logic goes – first RSS activists bomb the mosque, and then when they are caught, they kill the person caught. Straight out of a Mafia thriller, right? Well, it didn’t work so well after all.
Now the two accused (Mukesh Vasani and Raj Singh alias Harshad) who were the witnesses for naming top RSS leaders being involved in Sunil Joshi murder – have said, in two separate petitions to different courts that they also have been coerced to name RSS leaders.
Two accused in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case, in separate petitions before courts in Bhopal and Ajmer, have alleged that officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) offered them Rs 1 crore each and asked them to name three senior RSS functionaries in the murder of RSS activist Sunil Joshi.
Interestingly, the entire drama happened in the custody of the same agency – NIA. The agency was specially created by this Government in 2008, such that the Central Government could use it to process Terrorism cases across states, without special permissions from the states.
There is another accused – not proved of having committed any crime – Sadhvi Pragya. She is in police custody – from 10 October 2008 (unofficially) – although officially the date is said to be Oct 24.
There is no direct evidence of any sort against her as such. The so-called evidence against her is:
- Her Motorcycle taken by Sunil Joshi – already dead – was used in the bombing.
- Swami Aseemanand – in his since retracted statement, made out of coercion anyway – had named her as an accused.
For last 4 years, she has been behind the bars, without trial or bail. Interestingly, in this case too the common link seems to be – yes.. the NIA.
Recently, however, the Madhya Pradesh High court has denied NIA the permission to interrogate Sadhvi Pragya.
Madhya Pradesh high court on Friday directed the centre to make sure that National Investigation Agency (NIA) doesn’t grill Sadhvi Pragya, the prime accused in former RSS parcharak murder case till further order.
Given the inconsistencies, lack of concrete evidence, use of media – worse trial by media sans any substantive charge – and use of an agency specifically created by the UPA Government to go around the State Governments – one begs the question, if the bogey of “Hindu Terrorism” is indeed real or just a fabrication?
The RSS and BJP leaders have been challenging the agencies to charge people like Sadhvi Pragya and Swami Aseemanand if there is indeed any proof. But to keep them jailed, without evidence and and without trial is gross injustice!