NIA court convicts 18 in SIMI training camp case

NIA court convicts 18 in SIMI training camp case

Special Judge Kauser Edappagath found the convicts guilty under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Explosives Substances Act and various sections of Indian Penal Code. File photo

A special NIA court in Ernakulam on Monday convicted 18 people in the 2007 Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) arms training camp case.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court convicted them under section 120B of the IPC, sections 10 (membership of an unlawful association) and 38 (membership of a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act.

Of the 35 who faced the trial, 17 were acquitted.

On Monday, the 33 accused people lodged in prisons — in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bhopal and Bengaluru— were produced through a video conference and the two others were presented at the special court.

The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Tuesday.

6 from Karnataka

Of the 18 men convicted by the NIA court, six are from Karnataka, four from Kerala, three from Madhya Pradesh, two from Jharkhand and one each from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The case is related to an arms training camp held in Thangalpara in Wagamon, in December 2007, attended by SIMI activists from Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The NIA charge-sheet on the case said the participants undertook training in explosives and firing apart from attending sessions on jihad in India.

The agency said the camp was organised to prepare members of the proscribed organisation to wage war against the nation.

Following the camp in Wagamon, the accused were involved in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts and similar cases in Madhya Pradesh, the charge-sheet said.

The case was originally registered by police in Mundakkayam, in Kottayam district, in June 2008.

The NIA took over the case in January 2010.

The agency’s final charge-sheet, filed in December 2015, had listed 38 accused people.

One of them— Wasik Billa of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh— is absconding.

Mehboob of Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh was killed in an encounter in Bhopal in October 2016.

Another accused in the case, 2008 Ahmedabad bombings mastermind Abdul Subhan Qureshi, was arrested in January this year.

The trial in the case commenced in January 2017.