INDIA. Mumbai: Seven ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terrorists were convicted and were awarded the death penalty, while another terrorist was given life imprisonment in the Kanpur conspiracy case by the NIA Court, Lucknow on Tuesday.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) says that the accused made and tested some improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and tried to plant them in different places in Uttar Pradesh, but they did not work.
Those who have been awarded death sentences are Mohammad Faisal, Gaus Mohammad Khan, Mohammad Azhar, Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Syed Mir Hussain, and Asif Iqbal Rocky. The eighth convict, Mohammad Atif Irani, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Another accused in the case, Mohammad Saifulla, was killed in an encounter with the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in March 2017, an NIA statement read.
The convicts were found guilty under sections 121, 121A, 122, and 123 of the IPC, sections 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 23, 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and sections 3/25/35 of the Arms Act. Pronouncing the sentences, judge VS Tripathi said that the case fell in the rarest of rare categories, and therefore the convicts were entitled to the severest punishment.
In 2017, these ISIS terrorists were arrested in the Kanpur conspiracy case. They were charged under different parts of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Arms Act, and the Explosive Substances Act. The case (No. 03/2017) against the eight accused was initially registered on March 8, 2017, with ATS, Lucknow. It was re-registered by NIA on March 14, 2017.
Investigations showed that Mohammed Atif Irani and three others, named Mohammad Danish, Syed Meer Hasan, and Mohammad Saifulla, also made the IED that was planted in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train on March 7, 2017, which caused the explosion that hurt 10 people. This case is currently under trial.
The main suspect, Mohammad Faisal, a resident of Kanpur Nagar, was arrested for his role in the Madhya Pradesh train explosion on March 7, 2017. This was a big step forward in the ISIS-backed criminal conspiracy case. Disclosures made by him led to the arrest of two of his associates, Gauss Mohammad Khan alias Karan Khatri and Azhar Khan alias Azhar Khalifa, on March 9, 2017.
After taking over the investigation, the NIA arrested five more suspects: Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Asif Iqbal alias Rocky, and Mohammad Atif alias Atif Iraqi, all of Kanpur Nagar, and Sayed Meer Hussain of Kannouj, UP. A charge sheet was filed by the NIA against all eight arrested accused on August 31, 2017.
A notebook seized from their Haji Colony (Lucknow) hideout was found to contain handwritten notes about potential targets and details about bomb-making. Investigations had also led to the discovery of several photographs of the accused making IEDs and even with weapons, ammunition, and an ISIS flag, the NIA said before the court.
One of the accused, Atif Muzaffar, also said that he had put together information on how to make IEDs by gathering information from different websites. According to the NIA spokesperson, investigations in the case had clearly shown that the accused were terrorists of ISIS and had sworn ‘bayat’ (allegiance) to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Gujarat ISIS case
In another case on Tuesday, the NIA Special Court, Gujarat, convicted two ISIS terrorists and awarded them 10 years of rigorous imprisonment on charges of radicalising youth through social media, to carry out terror acts in the country in the name of ISIS. Originally, the case (No. 1-2017) was registered on May 20, 2017, by Gujarat ATS. It was re-registered as RC-09/2017/NIA/IDLI (ISIS Rajkot case) by NIA, and the charge sheet was filed on August 22, 2017.
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