CBI custody for Mecca Masjid blast accused


Hyderabad: A local court Tuesday sent Lokesh Sharma, the second accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, to 10 days Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody.

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The 14th additional chief metropolitan magistrate passed the orders on a petition by CBI, which is probing the 2007 blast.

Sharma will be in CBI’s custody from June 30 till July 9. Though CBI had sought his custody for 15 days, the court only agreed to 10 days.

Devender Gupta, the other accused in the case, is already in CBI custody till June 30.

CBI told the court that questioning of Sharma can throw more light and help in investigations to arrive at the truth in the case.

The probe agency had brought Sharma and Gupta to Hyderabad from Ajmer June 17. The court sent them to judicial custody for two weeks. Gupta was later remanded to CBI custody.

The CBI moved for Sharma’s custody after he was identified by two witnesses during identification parade at the Chanchalguda jail last week.

The investigation agency told the court that it has material on record to show that the acts of conspiracy and preparation to perpetrate the terrorist act in the case spans across several state jurisdiction.

Nine people were killed in the blast during Friday prayers at the 17th century mosque on May 18, 2007. Five people died in the subsequent police firing on protesters near the mosque.

Both Sharma and Gupta are members of Hindu extremist group Abhinav Bharat and are also accused in Octover 2007 blast at Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi dargah in Ajmer, which claimed one life and injured 30 others.

According to CBI, two other accused Sandeep Dange alias Parmanand and Ramchandra Kalsangra alias Ramji, both residents of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, are absconding.

The agency last week announced a cash reward of Rs.10 lakh to any person providing information leading to the arrest of each of the two absconding accused.