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NIA court acquits all the accused in 2007 Mecca Masjid Blast case

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Mecca masjid blast

The historic Mecca Masjid Blast during Friday prayers in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007, left as much as 58 people injured and killed many others.

 

The special NIA court in Hyderabad acquitted all the accused in 2007 Mecca Masjid Blast case on the basis of lack of evidence. The court said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) failed to provide enough evidence to back the allegations on the accused.

The historic Mecca Masjid Blast during Friday prayers in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007, left as much as 58 people injured and killed many others. The CBI had filed a charge sheet in the case after an initial investigation by the local police. In 2011, the NIA took the charge of the case from the CBI. The NIA in its investigation named ten people as accused in the case who belonged to right-wing organizations.

Five of them Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Devendra Gupta, Naba Kumar Sarkar and Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar were arrested and faced the court trial. In the span of seven years, as many as 226 witnesses were examined and 411 documents were scrutinized during the trials.

“We will examine the court judgment after we get a copy of the same and decide further course of action,” NIA said after the verdict.

Ahead of the verdict, a high alert was sounded in the city by the Hyderabad Police. Heavy security was also deployed outside the Nampally Courts Complex where the NIA special court is located.

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Jagdish Thakkar, PRO in Prime Minister’s Office dies, PM condoles death

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Jagadish Thakkar

“Extremely saddened by the demise of Shri Jagdish Thakkar, the PRO in the PMO,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

New Delhi| Public Relations Officer (PRO) in the prime minister’s office and senior journalist Jagdish Thakkar passed away here Monday.

Thakkar, 72, who was unwell for some time, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his demise, saying he was a wonderful person who loved his work.

“Extremely saddened by the demise of Shri Jagdish Thakkar, the PRO in the PMO. Jagdishbhai was a veteran journalist and I had the pleasure of working with him for years, both in Gujarat and in Delhi. He was known for his simplicity and warm-hearted nature,” the PM tweeted.

He said several journalists would have regularly interacted with Jagdishbhai over the years. He had previously served with many chief ministers of Gujarat.

“We have lost a wonderful person, who loved his work and did it with utmost diligence. Condolences to his family and well-wishers,” Modi said.

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Bulandshahr violence: Court sent acccused armymen on 14 day judicial custody

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Bulandshahr

Lucknow | A local court on Sunday sent the accused army men in Bulandshar violence Jitendra Malik alias Jitu Fauji to a 14-day judicial custody.

Jitendra Malik allegedly involved in the killing of a police inspector during mob violence in Bulandshahr was arrested on Saturday night. “The Army handed over Jitendra Malik to UP STF team in Meerut yesterday late night,” IG STF Amitabh Yash told PTI here today.

On Monday, a mob of some 400 people rampaged through a village in Bulandshahr district apparently after cow carcasses were found in a jungle nearby. During the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a 20-year-old man died of gunshot wounds. Nine people have been arrested in connection with the violence. Earlier Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said Saturday that full cooperation will be extended in the investigation of the incident

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Pakistan issues visas to 139 Indian pilgrims to visit Katas Raj dham

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Katas Raj dham

New Delhi | The Pakistan High Commission on Sunday said it has issued visas to 139 Indian pilgrims to visit Katas Raj Dham, the famous Shiva temple, in the country’s Punjab province.

Under the framework of a bilateral protocol on visits to religious shrines, Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India visit Pakistan every year. Pakistani pilgrims also visit India every year under the protocol. “Another group of Indian pilgrims, comprising 139 people, have been issued visas by the Pakistan High Commission to visit Shree Katas Raj Dham in Chakwal district from December 9-15,” the Pakistan High Commission said.

Last month, Pakistan had granted visas to more than 3,800 Sikh pilgrims to visit the country. Some of the pilgrims had attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on November 28 in Narowal. The corridor will link the Darbar Sahib shrine in Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district in India.

Earlier this month, over 220 Indian pilgrims were granted visas to visit the famous Hindu temple, Shadani Darbar, in Sukkur.  Katas Raj is one of the holiest places for the Hindu community in Pakistan. The temples form a complex surrounding a pond named Katas — which is regarded as sacred by the devotees.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood stated that the issuance of visas for yet another group of pilgrims from India was consistent with Government’s of Pakistan’s policy of promoting visits to religious shrines and was a reflection of its commitment to faithfully implement the 1974 Protocol, the High Commission said in a release. He said that Pakistan remained committed to providing all possible facilitation for the visiting pilgrims and strengthening people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

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