18 SIMI terrorists convicted by Kochi NIA court in the training camp case

A special NIA (National Investigation Agency) court has convicted 18, including four residents of Kerela, in the 2007 Wagamon SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India) arms training camp case. Of the 38 accused charged, 35 were put on trial. Of them, 17 have been acquitted for lack of evidence and 18 others have been convicted.

Two were produced in the court while for other accused, the trial was conducted via video conferencing with the Bhopal, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad jails where most of them were locked up. NIA had charged the accused with involvement in terror-related activities and being in connivance with terror groups. Special Judge Kauser Edappagath held the convicts guilty under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Explosives Substances Act and others sections of IPC (Indian Penal Code).

A secret training camp was organized by SIMI at Thangalpara in Wagamon, district Idukki, from December 10, 2007, to December 12, 2007. As per NIA chargesheet, SIMI activists had conspired to organize a training camp at Wagamon for its cadres and had conducted camps in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh among many other places during 2007. It also states that SIMI had conducted training in combat, arms, firing, making explosives etc. One of the accused, Wasiq Billa, is absconding. Another accused, Mehaboob Malik, was shot dead while trying to escape from Bhopal Central Jail along with others. The terrorist’s funeral was attended by thousands.

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SIMI had also allegedly conducted ‘jihadi’ training in the camp to train the cadres in inciting and abetting terrorist acts, disrupt communal harmony and cause threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, thereby involving in an act of war against Government of India.

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