KOCHI: The NIA Court in Kochi on Monday found 18 persons guilty even as it acquitted 17 accused in 2007 Wagamon SIMI Camp case. All the four Keralities including first accused Saduli of Kottayam were found guilty by NIA Judge Kausar Edapagath who will announce the quantum of the sentence of Tuesday.
The secret camp by the banned Islamist organisation Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was held from December 10 to 12, 2007 at Thangalpara in Wagamon in Kerala's Idukki district as a prelude to the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts. Investigations had revealed that the participants were imparted training, in handling arms, manufacture of petrol bombs, motorbike racing, and rope climbing.
The persons found quilty by the court were -- Saduli, Kottayam, Kerala; Hafeez Husain, Belgaum, Karnataka; Safdar Hussain Nagori, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh; P A Shibily, Kottayam, Kerala; Mohamad Ansar, Aluva, Kerala; Abdul Sathar, Aluva, Kerala; Aamil Parwaz, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh; Mohammed Sami Begevadi, Bijapur, Karnataka; Nadeem Sayeed, Belgaum, Karnataka; Mufti Abul Basheer, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh; Dr H A Asadullah, Bellary, Karnataka; Kamaruddin Nagori, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh; Shakeel Ahammed, Dharwad, Karnataka; Dr Mirza Ahmed Beg, Bidar, Karnataka; Danish, Ranchi, Jharkhand; Manzar Imam, Ranchi, Jharkhand; Mohammed Abu Faisal Khan, Andheri West, Mumbai and Alam Jeb Afridi, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
These accused persons were found guilty of offense under UnlawfulActivities Prevention Act (UAPA) sections- 10(being member of the unlawful association) and 38 (member who associate with the terrorist organisation); Explosive Substances Act section 4 for possession of explosive substances and section 120(b) of IPC for criminal conspiracy. Similarly, Saduli, Hafeez Husain, Safdar Hussain, P A Shibily, Mohammad Ansar, Abdul Sathar, Aamil Parwaz, Dr H A Asadullah, Kamaruddin Nagori, Shakeel Ahmed, Dr Mirza Ahmed, Manzar Imam and Nadeem Sayeed also found guilty for section 20 of UAPA for members of the terrorist group.
The acquitted persons were- Mohammad Usman, Vadodara, Gujarat; Muhammad Ali, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; Kamaran Siddiqui, Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh; Mohammmad Yasir, Gulberg, Karnataka; Mohammed Asif, Raichur, Karnataka; Mohammad Sajid, Surat, Gujarat; Gayusuddin, Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Jahid Kuthubuddin Sheikh, Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Mohammad Arif, Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Mohammed Ismail, Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Imran Ibrahim Shaikh, Vadodara, Gujarat; Kayamuddin Sharfuddin, Vadodara, Gujarat; Mohammed Younous, Ujjain Madhya Pradesh; Javed Ahmed, Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Mohammad Irfan, Belgam, Karnataka; Nashir Ahmed, Belgaum, Karnataka and Habeeb, Falahi, Azamgarh, UP.
As many as 35 accused persons faced the trial which commenced on January 2017. There were 38 accused persons in the case in which one accused Wasiq Billa is still absconding, Abdul Subhan Qureshi, the 38th accused and founder of Indian Mujahideen (IM) was only arrested this year. While Mehboob Sheikh was killed in Bhopal allegedly while attempting to escape from jail.
Wagamon SIMI Camp case is first in India in which trial is carried out using multi-point video conferencing system. The system connected NIA Court in Kochi with jails in Ahmedabad, Bhopal, and Bengaluru. The verdict was read out to 21 accused in Ahmedabad, 11 accused in Bhopal, one accused in Bengaluru. Abdul Sattar and Mohammed Asif were produced before the court. The accused persons in the case were also accused in cases registered at Ahmedabad, Indore and Hubily and Belgaum.
V T Raghunath, a defense lawyer told Express that all major offenses charged against the accused persons were omitted in the end. "In fact, NIA claimed that armed training took place at Wagamon SIMI Camp case. But they could not establish charges under Arms Act. All major UAPA offences and IPC section could not be established by the national agency. Apart from it, the mass acquittal is also an example that case did not exist The evidence was manipulated to charge a wrong case
against the accused," he said.
NIA Prosecutor Arjun Ambalapatta said the verdict was welcoming one as 18 accused persons could be found guilty by the court. "From the preliminary understanding, we find the verdict as a favourable one for us. We will have to examine received the copy of the court order and decide further proceedings," the NIA officer said.
The forensic evidence collected from the scene of the crime at Wagamon had confirmed that explosives were used in the camp. The case was probed by NIA Deputy Superintendent C Radhakrishna Pillai.