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Meenakshi temple blast case: accused acquitted

Written by: Staff
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Madurai, Apr 4 (UNI) A Fast Track Court (FTC) today acquitted the accused in the 1996 Meenakshi Amman temple bomb blast case, Venkatesan alias Sheikh Dawood Mustaffa, holding that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges.

Fast Track Court II Judge M Sekhar acquitted the accused in the sensational case registered in October 1996 in the aftermath of an explosion in the famed Meenakshi Amman temple premises.

Quoting various rulings of the High Court, the judge held that the CBI, the prosecuting agency, had failed to prove the charges against Venkatesan beyond reasonable doubt.

On October 5, a pipe-bomb exploded near the Ekadasi Lingeswarar shrine in the temple premises. The temple police registered a case and arrested suspects, including Seeni Naina Mohammed, Sheikh Abdulla and Raja Hussein.

Meanwhile the case was transferred to the CBI. On further investigation, Venkatesan, lodged in the Central Prison here, was arrested on September 6, 1996. He was then lodged in Vellore prison. Charges were framed in December that year.

Venkatesan, escorted back to Vellore jail after being produced in the court here, escaped on September 23, 1997. He was apprehended in Delhi in 2002 and awarded a jail term for one year in that case.

Since Venkatesan was facing other cases, police took him back to prison today.

UNI CR AA ARB HT1948

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