Two young men were on Friday convicted to seven years imprisonment in an Islamic State related case, the first in the country, after they pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiring to raise funds and recruit people for the terror outfit.
District Judge Amar Nath pronounced the sentence for 24-year-old Azhar-ul-Islam from Jammu and Kashmir and 25-year-old Mohd Farhan Shaikh, saying it appeared that they have "realised their mistakes and willing to repent for their acts and deeds".
The trial against Adnan Hassan (36), a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka who is also named in the same case, will commence on June six.
This is the first case in which Islamic State sympathisers are convicted in the country. The two accused had moved court last month, saying they were pleading guilty as they are "remorseful of the acts" alleged against them and that they wanted to join the mainstream. They had done this after the charges were framed against all the three.
Taking "positive aspects" from the act of pleading guilty, the judge said the convicts have realised thier mistakes and were willing to repent for their acts and deeds.
"No doubt, they were members of a terrorist organisation and got themselves associated with their activities. That may be their folly either on account of misguidance or lack of maturity of mind and circumstances," the judgement said.
The NIA had registered a case against the duo and Hassan on charges of hatching a criminal conspiracy to raise funds for the IS and recruiting peole for it. Hassan and Shaikh had been visiting UAE since 2008 and 2012 respectively while Islam joined them in 2015.
The NIA said the accused had created multiple email IDs, used multiple mobile numbers obtained from their associates of
different countries, formed various online forums and groups on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Surespot, Whatsapp, Kik, VKontakte, Viber and Skype.
"They formed a terrorist gang and acted as a frontal group of the ISIS and incited, motivated, invited and facilitated people of different nationalities to leave their respective countries and travel to Syria to join, support and further activities of the ISIS," the NIA said in a statement.
It said the accused persons were actively involved in "perpetuating, promoting and propagating" ideologies and terrorist activities of the IS.
They "actively supported, invited support" from others, "propagated and promoted" unlawful activities and terrorists activities of the IS by "exhorting, inciting, luring and influencing" others to become its members by "disseminating incriminating" contents that endorsed and glorified the terrorist acts of the IS.
The NIA also said they "raised, collected and received funds" in the UAE and transferred it to their associates in India, Philippines and Tunisia to facilitate their travel to Syria to join the IS.