Convicted For Running SIMI Arms Training Camp In Kerala In 2007

Convicted For Running SIMI Arms Training Camp In Kerala In 2007

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi convicted 18 people, including the founder member of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) Safdar Nagori, for organising an arms training camp at Wagamon in Kerala's Kottayam district in 2007.

Trial in the case commenced in January past year and 33 accused persons lodged in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bhopal and Bengaluru prisons were produced through video-conference, while the remaining two accused were produced in person.

Special Judge Kauser Edappagath found the convicts guilty under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Explosives Substances Act and various sections of Indian Penal Code. Sources in the NIA said the agency was satisfied about the court's verdict. The NIA court to pronounce the quantum of punishment tomorrow.

The chargesheet was filed against 35 accused, including 33 persons lodged in various prisons in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bhopal and Bengaluru. Video-conferencing had also been arranged for the pronouncement of the verdict. According to the investigators, the camp had become the de-facto launch-pad for a series of terror activities in the country. Six of the convicted are from Karnataka, four from Kerala, three from Madhya Pradesh, two from Jharkhand, and one each from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Mumbai. While one accused, Mehaboob Shiekh, was shot dead when he attempted to escape from jail in Bihar, another (Wasiq Billa) is suspected to have fled to Pakistan. Later, many terror cases and the birth of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen were traced to this camp. The planning for several explosions that occurred in the country was conducted at this camp, it was found.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) which probed the case had charged the accused with involvement in terror activities and being in cahoots with terror groups besides criminal conspiracy and violation of Arms Act among others. The prosecution said the SIMI members met in Indore in November 2007 and chose to run training camps in some states.

The NIA told the court that the convicts tried to learn battle skills in a training camp in order to wage a war against India.

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