Court to hear arguments on charges against Bhatkal on Nov 29

Court to hear arguments on charges against Bhatkal on Nov 29

A Delhi court today fixed November 29 for hearing arguments on framing of charges against suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives, including its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal who were arrested by NIA for their alleged role in a conspiracy to carry out terror activities across the country.

Additional Sessions Judge Neena Bansal Krishna, to whom the case has been transferred, would hear afresh arguments on framing of charges which were earlier being heard by District Judge I S Mehta.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) had earlier filed a supplementary charge sheet in the court against 20 suspected IM in which it had said that IM's Pakistan-based founder Riyaz Bhatkal had suggested adopting tactics used in the 2013 Maoist strike in Chhattisgarh on Congress leaders for eliminating politicians.

Before that, the agency had filed two charge sheets in the case against nine suspected IM operatives, including Yasin Bhatkal and his close aide Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi who were arrested by NIA on August 28, 2013 in the case. Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar are in judicial custody.

NIA, in its recent supplementary charge sheet filed in September this year, has named suspected top IM men Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Tahseen Akhtar, Ariz Khan, Md Sajid, Shahnawaz Alam, Mirza Shadab Beg, Amir Reza Khan, Md Khalid, Mohsin Choudhary, Haider Ali, Md Saleem Ishaqui and Afif Jailani as accused in the case.

Besides them, alleged IM men Abu Rashid, Zia-ur-Rehman, Abdul Khadir Sultan Armar, Md Shafi Armar, Md Hussain Farhan, Md Rashid and Anwar Hussain were also named in the charge sheet by NIA.

It, however, did not find enough evidence to charge sheet suspected SIMI operative Abu Faisal in the case.

NIA said in the supplementary charge sheet that IM operatives were following the footsteps of global terrorist organisation ISIS to create a situation in India similar to the one prevailing in Iraq and Syria.

In an apparent reference to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), NIA had said their probe has brought out that some of the suspected IM men had wanted to be sent to Syria with other 'jihadis'.

Out of the 20 accused named in the charge sheet by NIA, 17 have not been arrested yet while three others, Tahseen Akhtar, Haidar Ali and Zia-ur-Rehman, are in judicial custody in connection with the case relating to a larger conspiracy of IM to carry out terror activities across the country.

All these accused have been chargesheeted for the offences under various sections of IPC, including 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against the country), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

NIA is probing the alleged roles of 33 suspected IM men in the case out of which 29 have been chargesheeted by it.

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