Bhavesh Patel, one of the two given life sentence for 2007 Ajmer blast, was given a hero's welcome by his supporters in Bharuch after he was given bail by the Rajasthan High Court last week. Bhavesh and Devendra Gupta are the co-accused in the blast case, and were sentenced to life imprisonment last year by a special National Investigative Agency (NIA) court.
In the visuals, accessed by Republic TV, people can be seen celebrating the return of Bhavesh, with DJ being played and his supporters dancing to its tune. His followers were seen lifting him on their shoulders and treating him like a noble king.
The public affection of Bhavesh was supported by former Hindu Mahasabha chief, Swami Chakrapani. Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, he said, "You see, he's just an accused. He has only been accused till now, but not convicted. Even the constitution states that till the time an accusation isn't proven, the accused isn't a criminal. And regarding what you see, if someone comes out from jail, people always celebrate. If he has been welcomed, what's wrong in that?"
Not accepting that Bhavesh has been convicted, Chakrapani further kept on defending him, claiming media has an agenda against some Hindus. "There has been appeal in the higher courts. Secondly, why didn't you question when there was support for the terrorist who bombed the parliament (Afzal Guru). You people get too much behind the back of a few Hindus. If a Hindu puts a garland, you run after him."
Bhavesh, along with Devendra Gupta are accused of conspiracy in the bombing the Ajmer Dargah in 2007, in which 19 people were killed and several others were injured.
Despite charges not being lifted against him, Bhavesh is defiant that he is innocent. Speaking to media, he said, "One thing is confirmed, truth will always be truth, even there is some disturbance. This is all the love from the people, nothing else. They welcomed because of the respect for 'Swami', it wasn't for me. The presence of 'swami' is still present in the society, I can see."
During the whole proceeding, BJP's Municipal Corporation head of Bharuch, Surabhi Tamakuwala and Vishwa Hindu Parishad VHP) South Gujarat President Viral Desai were present. The latter defended his presence in the honor of a convict, saying, "Bhavesh is now our religious leader and we call him Swami Muktanand and we have all faith in him. It doesnt matter what he has done, for us he is our God."