The president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, on Monday blamed the National Investigation Agency for failing to properly prosecute the accused in the decade-old Mecca Masjid blast case.

In 2007, a blast at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad during Friday prayers had killed nine persons. Among the accused acquitted on Monday is Aseemanand, a former member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“I do not complaint against the courts as it is for the prosecution to prove, because this is not a small crime,” Owaisi said.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that the court’s judgement has exposed the Congress, The Indian Express reported. “Saffron terror is a very derogatory term that they repeatedly used,” Patra said. “This is the same party that hailed the 2G scam verdict. Will they not welcome the judgement today? Will Rahul Gandhi come out with a candle at midnight to apologise?”

Former Union Minister of Home Affairs Shivraj Patil told News18 that he had never used the term “Hindu terror” and expressed his disappointment with the verdict. “I am not satisfied with the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict,” Patil said. “Why should I apologise to anyone? Congress never misled the nation. I cannot give judgement on something that has not been said by the Congress party.”

His colleague Ashok Gehlot said the government has to now examine the order and decide if a further appeal is required.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat said the investigation agency should explain why it had failed to prove the case though all the witnesses were placed before the court. “NIA is answerable,” Karat told News18. “It is shocking to see how all the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case have been acquitted. It is very demeaning for the struggle against terrorism.”