Mecca Masjid: Case got weaker as witnesses dropped out
The biggest setback for the National Investigation Agency in the Mecca Masjid blast probe were the witnesses. A majority of the witnessed turned hostile as the trial began. Moreover, in the pre-trial stage, several witnesses were dropped.
Out of the 226 witnesses, 66 turned hostile after they had deposed in court. When the case started out there were 304 witnesses, but as many as 28 of them had been dropped.
The NIA is yet to examine the judgment and once this is done it would find out how the case weakened. The biggest problem, however, appears to be the witnesses turning hostile. These witnesses told the court that they did not support the prosecution's view.
Nine persons were killed after a powerful blast took place in the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. The case was first probed by the Andhra Pradesh police and later handed over to the CBI before the NIA took over in 2011.
In addition to the witnesses turning hostile, Swami Aseemanand who had issued a confessional statement retracted the same before the court. The NIA had relied heavily on this statement. However, with him retracting and the witnesses turning hostile, the NIA failed to secure a conviction in this case.