Clean chit for Aseemanand in Ajmer blast

Jaipur, March 8: A special NIA (National Intelligence Agency) court today acquitted former RSS leader Swami Aseemanand and six others in the 2007 Ajmer dargah bomb blast.

The special court judge Dinesh Gupta pronounced three accused Bhavesh Patel, Devendra Kumar Gupta, and late Sunil Joshi guilty. Joshi was allegedly killed by his own men in December 2007.

The court will pronounce quantum of punishment on March 16. Both Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Kumar have been fined Rs one lakh each by the court. They were found guilty under section 120 (B) and 295 of IPC and section 34 of the explosive act.

The blast had rocked the world famous dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti on October 11, 2007. The blast had left three pilgrims dead and 15 injured.

The case was transferred to NIA by Rajasthan ATS and the special NIA re-registered the case with the NIA police station New Delhi on April 6, 2011.

Six other accused, Swami Aseemanand, Harshad Solanki, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul Kumar, Mukesh Vasani and Bharat Bhai were acquitted of all charges. Three accused Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra and Suresh Nair are allegedly still absconding.

Eight accused —Swami Aseemanand, Bhavesh Patel,Bharat Bhai, Devendra Kumar, Harshad Solanki, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul Kumar and Mukesh Vasani were in judicial custody while one accused Chandra Shekhar was on bail.

There were as many as 149 witnesses in the case and the NIA filed three supplementary charge sheets in the case.

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