The Mecca Masjid verdict on Monday — that exonerated the primary face of ‘Hindu terror’, Swami Aseemanand, with four other accused — came as a shot in the arm for the BJP as the spotlight turned once again on the Congress.Making the most of the occasion, the BJP painted the Congress as “anti-Hindu”, accusing it for defaming and disrespecting the Hindu religion for the sake of “votes” as part of “appeasement politics”. The saffron party also demanded that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi apologise to the Hindus.BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said Congress had been “exposed as never before”. “Today, the face of the Congress has been unmasked. In the name of Hindu terrorism, the Congress, which was doing the job of defaming Hindus, has been exposed.”Patra demanded that Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi apologise to the entire nation for defaming the Hindu religion, underscoring that they had coined the term “Hindu terror”.As he included P Chidambaram, Shivraj Patil and Sushil Kumar Shinde in his sphere of attack for coining and using the term ‘Hindu terror’ and ‘saffron terror’, Patra said, “Now after the court verdict on Mecca Masjid blast, the party stands exposed. Will Rahul Gandhi at the stroke of midnight march to India Gate with a candle in hand and apologise for defaming the Hindus?” he asked.Accusing the Congress of “double standards”, Patra said, “BJP does not comment on the judgment of the court. We do not comment on working of the Indian judiciary. It is an independent body. Congress said the court was right at the time of 2G verdict, but now it is calling the Mecca Masjid verdict wrong today.”On the other hand, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) “welcomed” the verdict and dubbed it a “tight slap on the face of Congress”.”They conspired to free some terrorists, and for that purpose they created the bogey of ‘Hindu terror’. They have not just demeaned the Hindu community, but also committed treason against the country. If anyone was happy with this, it was Pakistan as its terrorists had been let go. The Congress came so close to Pakistan that for a change of government they went pleading to Pakistan. Sonia Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Rahul Gandhi should apologise to Hindus. If not then the slap will reverberate far and wide. Hindus are not ready to submit to this anymore,” said international joint general secretary Surendra Jain told DNA.Earlier in the day, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court at Nampally in Hyderabad acquitted all the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case.The court took the decision due to lack of evidence provided by the NIA, against the accused. Meanwhile, the NIA said that it will examine the special court’s verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case and will further decide its course of action. The blast, which took place on May 18, 2007, at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad during Friday prayers had killed eight people and left 58 injured. It was allegedly carried out by a group of right-wing terrorists.

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Mecca Masjid case: Those who coined ‘Hindu terror’ stands exposed, says BJP