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Ajmer blast case: NIA court finds three Hindu radicals guilty but acquits Swami Aseemanand

Aseemanand had earlier confessed to his involvement in the 2007 blasts. Photograph: (ANI)

WION Jaipur, Rajasthan, India Mar 08, 2017, 12.22 PM (IST)

A National Investigation Agency court on Wednesday acquitted right-wing RSS leader Swami Aseemanand and six others in the 2007 blast in the Ajmer Sharif Dargah.
 

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A total of 13 people were accused in the case. Three are still on the run.

The NIA court in Jaipur convicted Bhavesh Patel, Devendra Gupta and Sunil Joshi (now dead) for their involvement in the blast that killed three persons and left at least 15 others injured.

The explosion took place inside the famous shrine of Sufi Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti on October 11, 2007.

The accused were charged with hatching a conspiracy for the blast, murder, causing communal disharmony under sections of IPC and Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act and Explosive Substances Act. 

The quantum of punishment will reportedly be announced on March 16.

Police had initially blamed Islamic terror groups for the blast. However, a confession by Aseemanand shifted the focus of the probe towards Hindutva groups. He later retracted and said he had been tortured to give a false statement.

In 2010, five suspects, who had been arrested by India's Anti-Terrorism Squad, were charged with conspiracy related to the bombing.
 
The case was transferred from the ATS to the NIA in 2011. 

Aseemanand is an accused in several other cases of including that of blast at Hyderabad`s Mecca Masjid in 2007 and the explosion in the Samjhauta Express the same year which led to the death of 70 passengers onboard the train running between India and Pakistan.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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