This Article is From Mar 24, 2017

Aseemanand, Samjhauta Blast Accused, To Walk Out Of Jail After 6 Years

A Hyderabad court has granted bail to Swami Aseemanand in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case

Jaipur/ Hyderabad: Six years after his arrest for involvement in three bombings, Swami Aseemanand will soon walk out a free man. A Hyderabad court has granted bail to Aseemanand in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case that killed over a dozen people in the Telangana capital on the condition that does not step out of the city without the court's permission.

Wednesday's bail order means Aseemanand - who first shot into limelight in the 1990s for campaigning against conversion of tribals by Christian missionaries in Gujarat's Dang district - can walk out of prison.

Aseemanand who had become the face of right-wing extremists who plotted the blast outside the 12th-century Sufi shrine at Rajasthan's Ajmer was cleared of the charge by a Jaipur court two weeks back. Two of his alleged accomplices were, however, convicted.

It was in the Mecca Masjid case - that was initially thought to have been carried out by terrorists funded by Pakistani agencies to disturb communal harmony in Hyderabad - that Aseemanand was initially arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation from Haridwar in November 2010. He was alleged to have been living under an assumed identity.

In his confessional statements before a judge soon after, he spoke about involvement of Hindutva leaders in terror acts including the explosion on the Samjhauta Express in 2007. He is an accused in this case but had received bail in this case in 2015. But he later retracted the statement insisting that he had been coerced to make the statements. The National Investigation Agency - that was set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks - took over the probe soon after.

Granting him bail on Thursday, a Hyderabad court directed him not to step out of the city without the court's permission. He will be released only after he completes the formalities including two sureties of Rs 50,000.