The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court in Jaipur has deferred the sentencing in the Ajmer blast case yet again. The matter will now be taken up on March 22.
The defence counsel put forth his arguments on the quantum of punishment today. Earlier, when the matter came up in the Special Court on the March 16, both the defence and prosecution had put forth their arguments on the quantum of punishment for the convicts, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel.
On March 8, the NIA Special Court in Jaipur had found three of the accused guilty in the 2007 Ajmer blast case. Those convicted include Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi. Both Devendra Gupta and Sunil Joshi had been Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) propagandists.
The NIA Court held the three men convicted guilty of conspiracy, planting bombs and inciting religious sentiments. While Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel have been in judicial custody, Sunil Joshi had died mysteriously in 2007, soon after the Ajmer bomb blast.
SEVEN ACQUITTED, THREE ABSCONDING
The remaining accused, including Aseemanand, Chandrashekhar Leve, Mukesh Vasani, Bharat Mohan Rateshwar, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul Kumar and Harshad Solanki were acquitted in the case due to lack of evidence. Three accused Suresh Nair, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra were declared absconding in the case.
The agency had accused Aseemanand of masterminding the blast that rocked the Khwaja Chishti shrine during Ramzan on October 11, 2007, which left 3 people dead and 17 injured. The Court had also not found any involvement of senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar in the case.
The case had witnessed a major twist as Bhavesh Patel had accused several Congress leaders, including former Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Digvijaya Singh of pressurising him to name senior RSS leaders, including current RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar as being complicit in the blast case. He had demanded a judicial enquiry into his accusations and the alleged role of Congress leaders and NIA officers.