Ajmer terrorist attack, 2007

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The blasts, in brief

Joychen Joseph & Dishank Purohit, In a 1st, 3 convicted for saffron terror, but Aseemanand cleared, March 9, 2017: The Times of India

Ajmer blast, 2007, in brief; The Times of India, March 9, 2017

Ajmer Blast Of 2007 Had Killed Three, Injured 15

On October 11, 2007, a powerful bomb went off on the premises of the Ajmer dargah during iftar around 6.14 pm, killing three people and injuring 15. The case was initially investigated by the anti-terror squad of Rajasthan, which found that a group of people linked with a radical Hindu outfit allegedly carried out the blast at Ajmer dargah and Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007.The attacks were supposed to be in retaliation to the attacks on the Amarnath yatra in 2002, Akshardham Temple in Gujarat, and Raghunath Temple in Jammu. The Rajasthan ATS claimed that the explosives used and the modus operandi in the blasts in Ajmer and Hyderabad were similar. Police recovered an unattended bag at the site in Ajmer, which contained one unexploded bomb and two SIM cards, which gave them vital clues.

“The court has found that Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi conspired to carry out attacks at Ajmer Dargah. The court also found that it was Bhavesh Patel who planted the two bombs inside the dargah compound,“ public prosecutor Ashwini Ku mar said.

The NIA filed a chargesheet against 13 people in the case: Swami Aseemanand, Devendra Gupta, Chandrashekar Leve, Lokesh Sharma, Har shad, Mukesh Vasani, Bharat Mohanlal Rat ishwar, Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra Kalsangre, Bhavesh Patel, Suresh Nair and Mehul. Of these, Nair, Kalsangre and Dange are still missing. Joshi, Kalsangre and Dange figure in other “Hindu terror“ cases too.They broke away from the Sangh Parivar outfit over its “inability“ to avenge a series of jihadi attacks and formed Abhinav Bharat.

A special NIA court convicted three people in the 2007 Ajmer blast case, while acquitting seven others, including Swa mi Aseemanand, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

The verdict by judge Dinesh Kumar Gupta marks the first conviction in a “Hindutva terror“ case.

Those convicted are Sunil Joshi, who has figured in other cases, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel. Of these, Joshi died much before the trial began in June 2014. He was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Dewas, MP, on December 29, 2007.

The special court held that that the trio masterminded the attack. Gupta and Patel were convicted under various sections of IPC for criminal conspiracy and under sections of the Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The court, however, acquitted Aseemanand, who led a campaign against Christian missionaries for allegedly proselytizing tribals of Gujarat, and six others. Aseemanand is an accused in other cases of alleged “saffron terror“, with investigation agencies alleging that he incited suspected Hindutva radicals to avenge a series of jihadi strikes on Hindu places of worship by attacking Muslim targets.

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