Judge Ravinder Reddy, who delivered the verdict in the 11-year-old case on Monday afternoon, stunned everyone by resigning on the same day. He has reportedly cited personal reasons.
He said all five men had been acquitted because the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had failed to establish their role in the attack in which nine people were killed and over 50 injured during Friday prayers at the historic mosque. In 11 years, over 200 witnesses were examined by the court and over 400 documents were exhibited.
Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi raised questions and called it an "intriguing" move.Ten people allegedly belonging to right wing organisations had been named as the accused. One of them, Sunil Joshi, a former RSS member like Aseemanand, was murdered.The acquittals today were seized by the BJP, which taunted the Congress saying it had been proved that there is "no such thing as saffron terror". The term was used in 2010 by then home minister P Chidambaram of the Congress.
But the Congress said neither its president Rahul Gandhi nor any other party leader ever used the term "saffron terror".