BENGALURU: The Special Court for NIA Cases sentenced Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a 34-year-old BTech graduate from West Bengal, to undergo imprisonment for 10 years, as charges of using a proxy IP address to open his Twitter account to hide his identity and supporting and instigating Muslim youth to join the global terrorist organisation ISIS were proved.
The Special Court Judge CM Gangadhar pronounced the order on Wednesday, sentencing the accused to undergo simple imprisonment for 10 years and pay a fine of Rs 2.15 lakh. Since Mehdi has been in custody for over nine years, the court directed to set off the detention already undergone by him against the term of the imprisonment imposed on him.
“The accused has not committed any offence within India and he has not actively participated in the war waged against the governments of Syria and Iraq. However, he tweeted and re-tweeted thousands and thousands of times, supporting all the activities of ISIS/ISIL, which waged war against the governments of Syria and Iraq... recruited persons to the terrorist organisation and invited the support and encouraged Muslims to further the activities of the deadly terrorist organisation,” the court said, while noting that the prosecution has failed to prove that the accused has committed the offence under Section 66F of the I-T Act and any overt acts to wage war against the Government of India.
Mehdi, a resident of Jalahalli West, who worked with a tech company, was arrested by the CCB on December 13, 2014. He was charged for offences under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IPC, and the Information Technology Act.
Mehdi had opened a Twitter account @shamiwitness in 2009, and tweeted and re-tweeted from January 25, 2013, to December 11, 2014. With over 17,000 followers on his Twitter account, he disseminated the victories of ISIL/ISIS, subjugation of the enemies and spoke highly of the martyrs who waged war against Iraq, Syria and other countries through 1,30,000 tweets.