Following acquittals of all of the accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast on Monday, Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami confronted former Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil over the 'Hindu terror' theory that was used and popularised under the UPA regime and by his successors with regard to this and cases such as the 2006 Malegaon blasts, 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings and others.
In response to questions over the issue, Shivraj Patil refused to apologise for the 'Hindu terror' charge, asking why he should apologise as the party hadn't taken an official resolution towards it. He instead accused the media of popularising the term, despite it even having been used on the record by another UPA home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. Shinde's use of the term had led to a massive confrontation with the then Opposition BJP in 2013. Patil refused to comment on his colleagues', i.e. P Chidambaram's and Shinde's, use of the term.
Earlier on Monday, a special NIA court in Hyderabad's Nampally acquitted all five accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case citing lack of evidence and saying that the investigation agency had failed to prove anyone's guilt.
Following the acquittals, AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi slammed the NIA and the Modi government, accusing the agency of not pursuing the case as was expected. Meanwhile, BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy said that the verdict was expected as there was no strength in the case and that it had exposed the conspiracy hatched by the Congress party.
2007 Mecca Masjid Blast Verdict: Owaisi Blasts NIA And BJP; Dr Swamy Says Congress' Conspiracy Laid Bare. Full Details Here
The Mecca bombing had occurred on May 18, 2007, as a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb went off at the iconic Mecca Masjid near the Charminar in Hyderabad, killing at least nine people and injuring almost 60. Two other IEDs (improvised explosion devices) were defused. Five persons were also killed when the police resorted to firing when a mob formed on the streets to protest the blast at the mosque.
The case was soon transferred to the CBI which said that activists associated with far-right outfit Abhinav Bharat were responsible. Four years later, in 2011, the NIA took over the case and filed a chargesheet against Abhinav Bharat member Swamy Aseemanand who had initially confessed to right-wing activists being involved in the blast but later retracted, saying that he had been coerced into confessing by the ATS (Anti-Terror squad). Aseemanand was granted bail in March 2017 after having been arrested in November 2010. He was acquitted in Monday's verdict.