KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court will soon start trial in an Islamic State (IS)-related case in which a group from Kannur attempted to join the extremist group in Syria. The court on Monday decided to examine the witnesses as part of the trial from September 16. The case was first registered at Valapattanam police station in Kannur district before the NIA took over the probe in 2017.
Initially, the FIR was registered against Midlaj, Abdul Razak, Rashid M V, Manauf Rahman and Hamsa. Later, Abdul Khayum was arraigned as accused, while Rashid M V and Manauf Rahman turned approvers. Abdul Khayum is currently absconding and reported to be in Syria.
Recently, the accused had approached the NIA Court to provide them with the statements given by the protected witnesses to be used by NIA as part of the trial. The court ruled in favour of the accused persons by order to provide access to the statements of the protected witnesses. However, NIA has approached the Kerala High Court challenging the verdict of NIA Court. There are around 160 witnesses to be examined as part of the trial procedure.
Offences under sections 120B and 125 of IPC and sections 38, 39 and 40 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have been charged against the accused. The NIA probe revealed that the accused Midlaj, Abdul Razak and Hamsa, along with their associates, had attempted to further the objectives of IS by travelling to Syria with the intention of waging war on behalf of the IS against Syria.