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Xinhua
April 17, 2018

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India judge quits after freeing 5 men in mosque blast case

NEW DELHI: An anti-terror court judge in India Monday resigned, hours after acquitting five men, including a Hindu saint, in an 11-year-old mosque blast case. Justice Ravinder Reddy submitted his resignation to the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, citing personal reasons. Earlier in the day, he freed the five men accused of engineering the bomb blast in one of the country's biggest mosques in the southern city of Hyderabad some 11 years back. The explosion at the historic Makkah Masjid (mosque) took place during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007, claiming the lives of nine people and injuring over 50 others. Five others were also killed in police firing in riots that followed the blast. The court acquitted all the accused, citing lack of evidence. The anti-terror National Investigation Agency (NIA) had failed to prove anyone's guilt, according to the court. A total of 10 people, allegedly belonging to right-wing Hindu groups, including saint Swami Aseemanand, were initially named accused in the case by NIA. While one of them was killed during the investigation, two others went missing. Probe is on against two others.

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