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Ajmer blasts: Two terrorists affiliated to RSS sentenced for life imprisonment
On Wednesday, a Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court awarded life imprisonment to two terrorists convicted in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blasts. Both the convicts had been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS) in the past.

The blasts had left three people dead and injured 17 others. The convicts, Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta, were held guilty under Sections 16 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC, and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts 3 / 4 of Explosive Substances Act.

Patel, a resident of Gujarat was an RSS activist at his hometown Bharuch, Gujarat. And Gupta, a resident of Ajmer, worked for RSS in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

The judgement was ordered by NIA Special Judge Dinesh Gupta who also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Patel and Rs 5,000 on Gupta.

This is the first-ever conviction and sentencing of the RSS cadre in a terror case.
In course of the judgement, the court had convicted three persons and acquitted seven others. The third convict, Sunil Joshi was however murdered in December, 2007. Among the acquitted, the most controversial acquittal was that of self-styled monk and former RSS activist Assemanand.

He had confessed before the CBI and later NIA about his role in leading, planning and helping the execution of several blasts targeting minorities across India "to avenge attacks on Hindu temples" but he later retracted from his confession. The NIA chargesheeted him in three cases — Ajmer, Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid (Hyderabad) blasts.

Talking to the media outside the court, Defence counsel Jagdish Rana told reporters that the convicts would file an appeal against the judgment in the High Court.

The explosion took place at the time of iftaar during the month of Ramazan on October 11, 2007 in the shrine of Sufi mystic Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

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