A special court of the National Investigation Agency on Wednesday acquitted former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist Swami Aseemanand and six others in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case, The Hindu reported. NIA special judge Dinesh Gupta found three other accused in the case – Sunil Joshi, Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta – guilty in the bombing.
Aseemanand was the key accused in the case. Patel and Gupta have been fined Rs 1 lakh each. Joshi was shot dead by two motorbike-borne men on December 29, 2007, in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. Three of the 13 accused in the ase are absconding. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on March 16.
On October 11, 2007, a timed-bomb had ripped through the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. The explosion, in which three people were killed and 17 injured, had taken place in the month of Ramzan during iftaar when around 5,000 devotees were gathered at the dargah to break their fast. Investigations had found that Hindu groups were behind the blast.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had arrested Aseemanand in November 2010, three years after the blast, and handed him over to the NIA the next month. He had confessed to being involved in bombings at a number of Muslim places of worship along with other Hindu activists, but later said he had been under pressure from investigative agencies to make the statement.
The former RSS activist is an accused in the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and 2006 Malegaon blast cases, as well.