Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel, the two accused in 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case, were given life sentences by special NIA court.

Ajmer blast, Ajmer shrine blast, 2007 Ajmer shrine blast, Swami Aseemanand, 2007 Ajmer blast, india newsThree were killed in the Ajmer blast (above); Aseemanand (left)Pronouncing the quantum of punishment in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case, a special National Investigative Agency Court on Wednesday sentenced the two accused, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel, to life imprisonment.  The court had earlier convicted three people in the case and had acquitted several others, including RSS worker Swami Aseemanand, on account of lack of substantial evidence. Sunil Joshi, who passed away in June 2014, was the third convict in the case.

2007 Ajmer Dargah Blast Case: Two Sentenced To Life Imprisonment By Special Nia Court

The court had convicted Gupta and Patel under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for criminal conspiracy and under sections of Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

On October 11, 2007,  three pilgrims were killed and 15 others were injured after a bomb went off in the Dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti, during Iftaar time.  Rajasthan ATS was first asked to investigate the case, which was later transferred to the NIA. At least 149 witnesses were examined in the case along with 451 documents. The investigative body also filed three supplementary chargesheets in the case.

The third convict Sunil Joshi had died under mysterious circumstances the same year, soon after the blast. The blast that rocked the Khwaja Chishti shrine on October 11, 2007 left 3 people dead and 17 injured.

Ajmer dargah.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court today sentenced two people – Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel – to life imprisonment in the 2007 Ajmer blast case. The third convict Sunil Joshi had died under mysterious circumstances the same year, soon after the blast.

The blast that rocked the Khwaja Chishti shrine in the month of Ramzan on October 11,2007 left 3 people dead and 17 injured.

Both Devendra Gupta and Sunil Joshi had been Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) pracharaks.

  1. The court also asked for submission of the closure report on one Ramesh Gohil, who was initially arrested in the case but no charge against him proved, who too had died after the blast.
  2. Devendra Gupta was sentenced under Section 16 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) alongwith section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 18 of the UAPA and was fined 5000 rupees whereas Bhavesh Patel was sentenced under Section 16 and 18 of the UAPA and fined 10,000 as per the court. Gupta was found guilty of conspiracy and Bhavesh Patel of planting the bomb.
  3. Speaking to India Today, Defence Counsel JS Rana mentioned that they disagreed with the verdict. He said that the verdict was based on possibilities and that it would be challenged in a higher court.
  4. NIA counsel Ashwini Sharma said that the duo was accused of involvement in the Ajmer shrine bomb blast to incite religious sentiments, a conspiracy hatched by Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel. He expressed satisfaction with the verdict, citing that there had been conviction in the case even though some people had been acquitted.
  5. On March 8, the NIA Special Court in Jaipur had found these three – Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi – guilty in the case. The court had convicted these three on grounds of conspiracy, of planting bombs and inciting religious sentiments.
  6. The other accused namely Aseemanand, Chandrashekhar Leve, Mukesh Vasani, Bharat Mohan Rateshwar, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul Kumar and Harshad Solanki were acquitted for lack of evidence.
  7. Three accused identified as Suresh Nair, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra were declared absconding.
  8. The case had witnessed a major twist as Bhavesh Patel had accused several Congress leaders such as former Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Digvijaya Singh of pressurising him to name senior RSS leaders, including Mohan Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar, of being complicit in the case. He had demanded a judicial inquiry into the alleged role of Congress leaders and NIA officers.