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NIA court convicts 18 of organising SIMI camp in Kerala's Wagamon

16 May 2018

Only two accused were produced in the court on Monday, while the others who are lodged in various jails in Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Bengaluru, attended the proceedings through video-conference.

The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment tomorrow.

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 in Kochi on Monday convicted 18 people in the December 2007 Wagamon SIMI arms training camp case.

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The accused have been found guilty under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the Explosives Substances Act and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

They were sentenced to one-year RI under Section 10 and five years under Section 38 of the UAPA, seven years RI under Section 4 of the ESA and seven years under the IPC's Section 120 (B). Apart from Abdul Sathar, Habeeb Falahi, Manzar Imam and Alam Jeb Afridi all other accused have completed the sentence as they were in remand period for more than 7 years.

However, since the accused persons are facing trial in Ahmedabad serial blast case, they won't be set free now.

Yesterday in its verdict, the court found them guilty and acquitted 17 accused in the Wagamon SIMI camp case.

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The sensational case refers to the arms camp at Thangalpara at Vagamon which was run from 10 to 12 December in 2007. Investigations had revealed that the participants were imparted training in handling arms, manufacture of petrol bombs, motorbike racing, and rope climbing, etc., during the camp.

Another accused, Abdus Subhan Qureshi alias Tawqeer, a resident of Mumbai, was arrested in the case recently. The case was first probed by an internal security agency and the NIA later took over the investigation.

Those convicted from Kerala are Saduli and his brother P.A. Shibily, Muhammed Ansar and Abdul Sathar, the last two from Aluva.

The NIA had arraigned 38 persons as accused in the case, but only 36 faced trial as one of the accused Mehaboob Sheikh, of UP, was shot dead in Bihar in a bid to escape from jail in 2016.

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According to the NIA chargesheet, at the Wagamon camp, leaders of SIMI had conspired to conduct training camps for its active cadres and conducted camps in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and many other places. The trial of the 35 accused had commenced on January 23, 2017.

NIA court convicts 18 of organising SIMI camp in Kerala's Wagamon