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On 10th anniversary of Mecca Masjid blast, Hyderabad police step up security

HYDERABAD: The South Zone police in Hyderabad have beefed up security across the Old City area, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Mecca Masjid bomb blast on May 18.

According to reports, over 1,000 extra policemen have been deployed on the streets, especially in communally-sensitive areas.

Reporting that there was no specific intelligence input suggesting any breach of peace, the Times of India quoted K Babu Rao, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Zone, as saying, “Since there is no specific threat, we are confident that the anniversary will pass off peacefully.”

Last month, Swami Aseemanand, one of the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast, walked out of the Chanchalguda Central Jail in Hyderabad, after a court granted him conditional bail.

While granting bail, the Fourth Metropolitan Sessions court asked him to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each and not to leave Hyderabad without prior permission.

Jatin Chatterjee aka Swami Aseemanand was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2010.

Earlier associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), he is considered an ideologue of Abhinav Bharat, an extremist organisation involved in the Malegaon and Ajmer blasts.

On May 18, 2007, members belonging to the Hindu militant outfit Abhinav Bharat had allegedly placed two bombs in Mecca Masjid, considered one of the holiest Muslim sites in the city.

They allegedly placed the bombs during Friday prayers, when thousands of people had gathered.

Nine persons were killed in the blast.

As news of the blast spread, tension escalated in Old City, especially the areas around Charminar, with many people taking to the streets. They turned into vandalising mobs and clashed with the police.

Police resorted to lathi-charge, lobbing of teargas shells, and firing in the air. Five more people were killed in subsequent police firing near the mosque.

However, a decade later, the state is reportedly yet to make the findings of the Justice Bhaskara Rao Commission public.

The Commission was formed in 2010, to look into the police firing, and it submitted its findings in October the same year.

Since then, many people have demanded successive state governments to release the findings of the report.

IANS inputs