KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi on Friday awarded seven years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) and a Rs 50,000 fine to two convicted persons in the Valapattanam ISIS case of 2017 related to attempts they made for joining the terrorist group in Syria. One of the accused was sentenced to undergo six years of RI and a Rs 40,000 fine.
Two persons will have to spend only two more years in jail while the third person will be in jail only for one year as the court has exempted the period of stay in the jail for the convicts.
On Wednesday, the court found Midilaj (31) a native of Mundari, Abdul Rasak (28) a native of Chekkikulam, and UK Hamsa alias Biriyani Hamsa (61) of Thalassery guilty in the case.
Midilaj and Hamsa were sentenced to undergo seven years RI and a Rs 30,000 fine under section 38 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) (membership in the terrorist organisation), seven years RI and a Rs 10,000 fine under section 39 of UAPA(giving support to the terrorist organisation) and six years RI and Rs 10,00 fine under IPC section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with section 125 (waging war with Asiatic power), 38 and 39 of UAPA.
As the sentence to run concurrently, the duo has to face seven years RI and pay a fine of Rs 50,000 each. The court also exempted the period of stay in the jail since their arrest in 2017 following which Midilaj and Hamsa will only have to face imprisonment for two years.
Rasak was sentenced to undergo RI for six years and a Rs 30,000 fine under section 38 of UAPA, six years RI, and a Rs 10,000 fine under section IPC section120B read with IPC section 125, 38, and 39 of UAPA. The sentence will run concurrently. After all the exemptions, Rasak only has to face a jail term of one year as he was also arrested and remained in prison since 2017. The court announced that charges against absconding accused Abdul Khayum are split and it will be considered as a separate case.
After delivering the judgment, NIA judge Anil K Bhaskar thanked the convicted persons for cooperating with the trial procedure. NIA Special Public Prosecutor PG Manu said NIA will consider filing an appeal at Kerala High Court. However, he said that all major contentions of NIA during the trial were upheld by the court in its judgment.
"The court in its verdict has stated that ISIS was at its peak between 2014 and 2017. The accused persons supported and tried to join ISIS which was fighting a war against Asiatic power Syria a friendly nation to India. After discussing with NIA higher-ups, a decision would be taken regarding filing an appeal against the judgment as the accused persons were not found guilty under section 40 of UAPA for giving financial support to ISIS," he said.
The case was first registered by Kerala Police at Valapattanam Police Station in 2017 after it was found that several persons from the Kannur district moved to Syria in 2016. The investigation by Kerala Police revealed that Hamsa motivated persons to join ISIS and move to Syria. Later, NIA took over the probe and arrested Midilaj, Rasak, and Hamsa who were all set for migrating to Syria. Rashid, Manauf Rahman, and Afsal K were turned approvers in the case. Khayum successfully reached Syria where he was later killed in the battle.