Jaipur: Right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand was on Wednesday acquitted along with six others in the 2007 Ajmer blast case by a special court here, which convicted three others.
Judge Dinesh Gupta let off Swami Aseemanand and six others giving them "benefit of doubt". Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi were convicted under various sections of IPC, Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for the bomb attack, which had left three pilgrims dead and 15 others injured. Joshi was murdered in December 2007.
The quantum of sentence will be announced on March 16, defence counsel Jagdish Rana told reporters. Among those acquitted were Harshad Solanki, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul Kumar, Mukesh Vasani, Bharat Bhai and Chandrashekar, he said, adding Chandrashekhar is out on bail while others are in judicial custody.
"The conviction was made under section 120 (B)(Criminal conspiracy), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC, Explosive Substances Act and Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act," Rana said.
Swami Aseemanand is an accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case. A total of 68 people were killed in the blasts in two coaches of Samjhauta Express train near Dewana railway station in Panipat on February 18, 2007.
A member of right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, Assemanand has been in jail since December 2010. He was also named as an accused in Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case. On December 26, 2010, he was arrested by CBI from Haridwar for his alleged role in the Mecca Masjid blast in which 14 persons were killed.
According to the National Investigation Agency probing the Ajmer blast case, three accused -Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra and Suresh Nair- are absconding.
The case was handed over to ATS Rajasthan and later transferred to NIA, which re-registered the case with the NIA police station in New Delhi on April 6, 2011. There were as many as 149 witnesses in the case and 451 documents were examined.
NIA had filed three supplementary chargesheet in the case. The blast on October 11, 2007 in the dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer at the time of iftaar, had left three pilgrims and 15 others injured.