NIA court convicts 18 in SIMI training camp case, 17 acquitted

Safdar Nagori 17 SIMI cadres get 7 years in Vagamon arms training case

Safdar Nagori 17 SIMI cadres get 7 years in Vagamon arms training case

SIMI had been banned in 2001 as a terror organisation for being "suppliers" of cadres to terror groups such as Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami in carrying out activities in India and Afghanistan.

A Special NIA court here on Monday convicted 18 people in the December 2007 Vagamon SIMI arms-training camp case. All others, except Sathar, have already spent more than seven years in prison. Later, many terror cases and the birth of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen were traced to this camp. He was arrested in 2018 and will face trial.

Due to issues in connecting the video conferencing system with Bengaluru jail, the proceeding to announce the verdict was delayed by half an hour. "The punishment to be prescribed should have nexus with the gravity of the crime committed".

NIA has alleged that they conducted camps at Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat from December 10, 2007 to December 12, 2007.

Thirteen among the convicts were found guilty under Section 20 of UAPA and will face RI for seven years and will have to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. They include the prime accused PA Saduli of Erattupetta, fourth accused PA Shibily of Peedikkal, fifth accused PA Mohammed Ansar of Aluva, and sixth accused Abdul Sathar of Perumthelil.

The Court ordered the accused to face the sentence concurrently and set off the remand period from the sentenced imprisonment. "Apart from Abdul Sathar, Habeeb Falahi, Manzar Imam and Alam Jeb Afridi, all other accused have completed over seven years of imprisonment". The remaining convicts will continue to be in remand for other cases, including the Ahmedabad blasts case and the SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) camp case in Indore. Both defense and prosecution counsel told TOI that they would be approaching the high court with an appeal. The camp was allegedly held to train recruits for the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts.

Judge Kauser Edappagath of the special court handling cases of the National Investigation Agency, found the convicts guilty under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Substances Act and various sections of Indian Penal Code. The court had acquitted 17 of 35 defendants who faced the trial commenced in January previous year.

According to the NIA chargesheet, the organisers of the camp had imparted training to the participants in advanced weapons, firing, bomb-making, rope-climbing, motorcycle maneuvering on the rocky hill of Thangalpara.

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