KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Monday awarded seven years of rigorous imprisonment to two prime suspects including terror-accused Thadiyantavida Nazeer in a case related to the torching of a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) bus at Kalamassery near Kochi in 2005.
The two accused were among the key suspects who torched the TNSTC bus to protest the prolonged detention of Abdul Nazar Madani, the supremo of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), who was jailed in the 1998 Coimbatore bombings case.
Nazeer and the other two persons were in jail since 2009 in this case. However, they won't be free as they are already sentenced to life imprisonment in various terrorist cases, including the Kashmir recruitment case.
The court last week convicted three accused persons after they admitted guilt without undergoing trial in the case.
While the NIA Court judge K Kamanees awarded seven years' rigorous imprisonment and Rs two lakhs fine to first accused Thadiyantavida Nazeer alias Ummer Haji (46) a native of Thayyil, Kannur, and fifth accused Sabir Buhari (43) of Perumbavoor, the court award Thajudin, the seventh accused, rigorous imprisonment of six years and Rs 1.50 lakhs as a fine.
Even though the court awarded a total of 39.5 years of rigorous imprisonment for various offences to Nazeer and Sabir their sentence would run concurrently. Similarly, Thajudin was awarded 35.5 years of rigorous imprisonment for various offences charged against him, the sentence will run concurrently.
The trio was convicted for IPC sections- 120(b) (conspiracy), 121(a) (conspiracy to wage war against the country), 323(voluntarily causing hurt), 506(ii) (criminal intimidation), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substances); section 4 of The Prevention of Damage to Public Property (PDPP) Act for mischief causing damage to public property by fire or explosive substance; Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) sections 16(terrorist act) and 18 for (conspiracy for a terrorist act).
The convicted persons who are currently lodged at Parappana Agrahara Central Jail, Bengaluru, for their involvement in the Bengaluru bomb blast case, were produced through video conferencing. The stay of the convicted persons in jail since 2009 would be set off. It was last week the three accused persons approached the court admitting guilt about the crime. Last year, the ninth accused Anoop KA of Vedimara admitted guilt and was sentenced to six years of rigorous imprisonment.
There are 13 accused persons in the case of which one died in an encounter in Kashmir. Madani's wife Sufia is the 10th accused in the case. The bus started with 31 passengers from the KSRTC Ernakulam bus stand toward Salem. A six-member group led by Nazeer boarded the TNSTC bus from the KSRTC Ernakulam bus station. When the bus reached the Kalamassery municipal office, one of the accused pointed a gun at the driver and asked him to divert the bus towards Popemala, a lonely place in Kalamassery. When the bus reached the place, they asked the passengers to get down and set the bus on fire.
It was following a complaint lodged by Krishna Swami, the driver of the TNSTC bus (TN 01N 6725), the Kerala Police registered a case on September 9, 2005. Later, when NIA was formed, the case was taken over by the police, and a charge sheet was filed on 2010. The trial of the case is yet to commence due to the non-availability of the accused person who is facing trial in other terror cases at various other courts across India.