Swami Aseemanand's confession to police not voluntary: NIA court

The special anti-terror court that acquitted five accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case held that the confessional statement of Hindu preacher Swami Aseemanand to the police, which he retracted later, was not voluntary.

The NIA court also maintained that a person cannot be considered "communal or anti-social" only because of links to the RSS, which is not a banned organisation.

The court also dismissed the prosecution's claim that Aseemanand had confessed to his guilt to two inmates of a prison in Hyderabad, saying the CBI, which initially probed the case had not provided any documentary evidence to back its charge.

A powerful blast, triggered by remote control, had ripped through the over four centuries-old mosque here during an assembly of devotees on May 18, 2007 when they had gathered for Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58.

(Agencies)