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Archives for : NIA

#India- Life sentence for 13 jihadi recruitment, Kerala,'”no one is born a terrorist” says the Judge #goodnews

13 get life imprisonment for jihadi recruitment from Kerala

, TNN | Oct 5, 2013,

13 get life imprisonment for jihadi recruitment from Kerala
The NIA team which investigated the case had established that the accused conducted motivational sessions in various parts of Kerala and at Hyderabad to prepare the recruits for waging ‘jihad‘.
  • KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court here on Friday sentenced 13 people to life imprisonment after they were found guilty on charges of recruiting youths from Kerala to carry out acts of terror with the support of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Pakistan‘s ISI.
Three of them — Abdul Jabbar, Sabir Buhari and Sarfraz Navas — have been given two life sentences for plotting to “wage war against India”.The whole recruitment angle came to light after the death of four Kerala youth in encounters with security forces in Kupwara in Jammu & Kashmir on October 4, 2008. Jabbar, who survived the encounter and escaped from Kashmir, was subsequently apprehended in Kerala.

Special court judge S Vijayakumar in his order, pronounced exactly five years after the encounter deaths, said the provisions under which Jabbar had been found guilty could have invited the death sentence. “But I avoid death penalty and I sentence him to undergo life imprisonment,” the order said. Incidentally, after pronouncing the sentence, the judge countered the charge of perceived leniency by saying that “no one is born a terrorist” and that courts everywhere including in India, were increasingly against the death penalty.

Thadiyantevide Nazeer, allegedly one of the masterminds of the terrorist network in Kerala and also an accused in several cases like the Bangalore twin-blast case, was awarded life imprisonment.

Navas, while leaving the courtroom after the sentencing, called himself and his fellow convicts “successors of Kunhali Marikkar” — the legendary 16th century Muslim admiral of Calicut who fought the Portuguese — and questioned the moral right of “those [descendants] who had maintained a servile attitude towards the invading Europeans to dictate lessons on patriotism to us.”

The NIA team which investigated the case had established that the accused conducted motivational sessions in various parts of Kerala and at Hyderabad to prepare the recruits for waging ‘jihad’ and provide training for carrying out armed action against the state. Apart from the arms recovered from the deceased terrorists, the investigating team had also seized many other incriminating materials like cash, printed materials and CDs, and records of telephone conversations with the contacts from Pakistan.

The NIA had originally charged 24 people in the case including the four who were killed in the encounter. The NIA court acquitted five of the accused while two others, including Pakistani national Wali alias Abdul Rehman, are still absconding.


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#India – Muslim Suspects are quickly arrested,tortured and Branded for Life #sundayreading




The Sunday Story It is a familiar pattern, from Malegaon and Mecca Masjid, to Dilsukhnagar. Whenever there is an act of terror, Muslim suspects are quickly arrested. Torture is common. And even if they are acquitted, the police shadow never disappears.

The Hyderabad police came for Mohammad Rayeesuddin on February 24, 2013 — three days after the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts shattered the city’s fragile calm, killing 17 and injuring over a hundred. The 30-year-old man returned home fatigued from daylong grilling only to be again picked up a week later and subjected to more interrogation. This time, he was with the police for over 15 hours, and his panicked family began to imagine the worst.

Rayeesuddin’s mother and wife had reasons to worry. The family’s breadwinner was one among the 30-odd males picked up in August-September 2007 for suspected involvement in the Mecca Masjid and Gokul Chat Bhandar blasts. After weeklong torture in various police hideouts, Rayeesuddin was shown as formally arrested and sent to trial. On February 14, 2008, he obtained conditional bail, and on December 31, 2009, the Court of the VII Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge cleared him and the other accused of all charges.

The Hindu got in touch with Rayeesuddin in February 2011, and what emerged was the familiar and heart-breaking story of ‘once a terror suspect always a terror suspect.’ Hum utthe baitthe dar me rahte hain [I live in constant fear],” he said, talking of the constant presence in his life of the khaki uniform. The policemen turned up on expected occasions, such as the anniversaries of the Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat anti-Muslim violence and whenever a terror alert was sounded. Often they did not even need the fig leaf; they would turn up just to let him know that he will never stop being under watch.

So when the inevitable happened, and the police knock came in the aftermath of the Dilsukhnagar blasts, Rayeesuddin’s family was understandably crazed with worry. Rayeesuddin himself told The Hindu: “My life is ruined.” He also had a logical question to ask: “I know what it is to go to jail and face torture. Freedom came to me after so much pain, would I forgo it all to get involved in a fresh terror attack?”

Very recently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) declared the absconding Riyaz Bhatkal the primary suspect in the Dilsukhnagar blasts. It also produced Bhatkal’s associate Asadullah Akhtar in a local court, naming him a second key suspect. But this in itself is no guarantee that the Mecca Masjid boys will finally be free of the ‘forever surveillance’ that has been their fate since 2007. After all, they were freed of the Mecca Masjid charges because a Hindutva link had surfaced when the case was reinvestigated. If that did not stop the police visits, there is hardly any reason why the alleged Bhatkal link to the Dilsukhnagar blasts will.

Identity and oppression

For those acquitted, the tragedy is compounded by the fact of their being Muslim. After much humming and hawing, the Andhra Pradesh Government ordered compensation to those released in the Mecca Masid blasts and other similar cases. The decision itself was taken under pressure from the National Commission for Minorities, which visited the victim boys, and noted the abominable condition in which they lived. Yet the compensation had not even been fully disbursed when the Andhra Pradesh High Court cancelled the award and ordered the State government to recover the sum it had already disbursed. The order, which termed the award illegal and beyond the jurisdiction of the government, was a stunning blow — both to those who had received the compensation and those waiting in eager anticipation for their turn. For the terror acquitted, the compensation was more than a means of starting a new life. It was official recognition that they had been wrongly accused.

Only a terror accused knows what it is to be officially freed of the terror tag. In a society where ordinary Muslim citizens find it difficult to get jobs and accommodation, the Muslim terror tag is equivalent of being condemned to non-existence. Of course, accusations of torture and worse have been made equally by Hindutva-linked terror accused such as Pragya Thakur and Aseemanand. However, the vast majority of those picked up are Muslims, and as an agonised activist told The Hindu: “Muslim boys get picked up in the first place because they are Muslim. They are the first suspects regardless of whether or not there is an actual Islamist connection to the terror act. And then, when they are acquitted, they cannot ask for compensation because the Constitution prohibits religion-based discrimination.”

Ironic indeed! Surely it could not have been the intention of our founding fathers that the injunction against religion-based discrimination ought to be used to further discrimination. In the Mecca Masjid case, as in many others, there is clear evidence of police and administrative mala fides. This was systematic State-sponsored discrimination. If the State finally, and at its leisure, moves to compensate those it victimised by design, how can that be bad in law?

The logic is compelling, and that is perhaps why on September 19, the Andhra Pradesh High Court recalled the stay order on the compensation awarded to those acquitted in the Mecca Masjid and other cases.

Not every terror accused comes even close to getting compensation. Mohammad Aamir, who spent 14 years in jail as the main accused in 20-odd low intensity bomb blasts executed between 1996 and 1997 in Delhi and neighbourhood, finally walked free in January 2011, fully acquitted in 17 cases and acquitted on appeal in one more case. The remaining two cases, in which too acquittals are eventually expected, hold only academic significance today because Aamir has already served more than the maximum prison term of 10 years for offences in these cases.

Aamir emerged from jail to a hero’s welcome. The press celebrated his freedom, and he himself laboured under the illusion that there would be an official compensation for the ordeal he endured. While he was in jail, his father passed away and his mother suffered a paralytic attack. But every government official he met stood up to receive him, commiserated with his plight and made promises that were, of course, never fulfilled.

Order recalled

The recall by the Andhra Pradesh High Court of the stay order on compensation should induce fresh thinking on the whole gamut of issues related to terror investigation — from policing methods and the irrationality of picking up suspects only to show quick results, to compensating those wrongly accused, and finally punishment to policemen found guilty of misusing their uniform against innocent civilians.




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Bangalore Court grants bail to DRDO scientist in terror case #goodnews

By Newzfirst Correspondent2/28/13

Bangalore – The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court on Thursday ordered the release of another youth who was arrested last year on terror related charges, after granting him statutory bail for failure to file a charge-sheet within 180 days of arrest.

The bail application moved by the defence counsel of Aejaz Ahmed Mirza on Wednesday contended that the investigating agency failed to file the charge-sheet within the stipulated time of 180 days since his arrest.

Aejaz Ahmed Mirza – a DRDO scientist – was among the 15 youths arrested last year by Central Crime Branch (CCB) Bangalore sleuths, from different parts of Karnataka and Hyderabad, for allegedly plotting to kill prominent personalities and having links with banned terror outfits.

Speaking to Newzfirst, Akmal Razvi, lawyer and secretary of Association for Protection of Civil Rights said, “The NIA counsel said that they have some evidence, but no prosecutable evidence. So he has been released on statutory bail.”

Earlier this week, two more persons – who were accused in the same case – were released after the NIA dropped all charges against them.

In its charge-sheet submitted on 20 February 2013, the NIA had filed charges against 11 of the 15 arrested youths while dropping charges against two – Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui and Yusuf Nalband – and asking more time for interrogating the other two – Aejaz Ahmed Mirza and Syed Tanzeem.


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NIA files charge-sheet in terror plot, drops charges against two

By Newzfirst Correspondent2/21/13

Bangalore – About 6 months after 15 youths were arrested from different locations in Karnataka on charges of a terror plot and alleged links with banned terror outfits, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted a charge-sheet on Wednesday against 12 persons while dropping the charges of two others – journalist Muthi Ur Rehman Siddique and Yusuf Nalband.

On 29 August, 11 youths were picked up by CCB sleuths from Bangalore and Hubli for alleged links with banned terror outfits. Four more were subsequently arrested from different locations in Karnataka and Hyderabad.

The case of these 15 accused was registered at Basaveshwara Nagar police station, with the CCB Special Enquiries (SE) squad of Bangalore being in-charge of the investigation.

The NIA later took over the investigation of the case (384/2012) and continued inquiry against the accused persons after re-registering the case as RC 04/12/ NIA/Hyd.

According to the NIA, 25 persons are accused in the above case. Of the 25 accused, 15 have been arrested so far while 10 more are absconding.

Out of the 15 persons who were arrested, the NIA has filed charges against 11. The charges against two persons – journalist Muthi Ur Rehman Siddique and Yusuf Nalband – have been dropped while the NIA has sought more time to investigate two others, namely Aejaz Ahmed Mirza and Syed Tanzeem. One more person who is included in the charge-sheet, but remains absconding, is Zakir @ Ustad.

The present charge sheet has been submitted against 12 of the 25 accused persons, namely Shoaib Ahmed Mirza @ Chotu, Abdul  Hakeem  Jamadar, Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti , Mohammad Akram @ Khaled, Ubedullah Bahadur @ Imran, Wahid Hussain Kanakyanavar, Dr. Zafar Iqbal Sholapur, Mohammad Sadiq Lashkar, Mehboob Bagalkote,  Zakir @ Ustad,  Obaid-Ur-Rehman and Dr. Nayeem Siddique, charged under sections 120 B  read with (r/w) 153 A,  399 of Indian Penal Code (IPC),  section 18 r/w sections 10, 13, 17, and 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) 1967 and section 3 r/w 25 of the Arms Act 1959.

“The investigation disclosed the conspiracy to commit terrorist activities in India by a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) supported network of terrorists based abroad and their associates in India in the States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra,” NIA said in a statement.

“Further Investigation of the Case is in progress against other accused who are absconding and suspected to be based in foreign countries as well as two arrested accused,” the statement further read.

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