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Lucknow: NIA court awards death sentence to 7 ISIS terrorists convicted in Kanpur terror conspiracy case, one terrorist sentenced to life

The ISIS terrorists were arrested in the Kanpur conspiracy case in 2017, for planning and executing several bomb blasts in several places

On 28th February 2023, an NIA court in Lucknow awarded death sentences to 7 ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terrorists convicted in the Kanpur conspiracy case. One terrorist was given life imprisonment. On 24th February 2023, the NIA court in Lucknow convicted these 8 terrorists in a conspiracy case of planning terrorist acts.

Convicted terrorists Mohammad Faisal, Gaus Mohammad Khan, Mohammad Azhar, Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Syed Mir Hussain, and Asif Iqbal Rocky have been awarded death sentences by the NIA court in Lucknow. The eighth convict Mohammad Atif Irani has been sentenced to life imprisonment. They have been found guilty under sections 121, 121A, 122, 123 of IPC, sections 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 23, 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sections 3/25/35 of the Arms Act.

Another accused in the case, Mohammad Saifulla, was killed during an encounter with the UP ATS in March 2017. Pronouncing the sentences, judge VS Tripathi said that the case fell in the rarest of rare category, and therefore the convicts were entitled to the severest punishment.

These ISIS terrorists were arrested in the Kanpur conspiracy case in 2017, and they were booked under various sections of the IPC, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Arms Act and the Explosive Substances Act. The case against the eight accused was initially registered on March 8, 2017, at Police Station Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), Lucknow and re-registered by NIA on March 14. NIA investigations had earlier revealed that the accused had prepared and tested some improvised explosive devices (IED) and had unsuccessfully tried to plant them at various locations in UP.

Investigations also revealed that Atif and three others, identified as Md Danish, Syed Meer Hasan and Md Saifulla, had been responsible for fabricating the IED that was planted in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train. The train explosion on March 7, 2017, left 10 injured. This case was also investigated by NIA and is currently under trial.

The breakthrough in the ISIS-backed criminal conspiracy case came when the main accused, identified as Md Faisal, a resident of Kanpur Nagar, was arrested for his involvement in the Madhya Pradesh train explosion of March 7, 2017. Disclosures made by him led to the arrest of two of his associates, Gauss Mohammad Khan alias Karan Khatri and Azhar Khan alias Azhar Khalifa, on March 9.

After taking over the investigations, NIA arrested five more accused in the case. They were identified as Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Asif Iqbal alias Rocky and Mohammad Atif alias Atif Iraqi, all hailing from Kanpur Nagar and Sayed Meer Hussain of district Kannouj, UP. A chargesheet was filed by NIA against all the eight arrested accused on August 31, 2017.

A notebook seized from their Haji Colony (Lucknow) hideout was found to contain handwritten notes about potential targets and details about bomb-making. Investigations had also led to the discovery of several photographs of the accused making IEDs and even with weapons, ammunition and ISIS flag, NIA said before the court.

The group of terrorists had reportedly collected illegal weapons, explosives etc from various places. One of the accused, Atif Muzaffar, had also disclosed that he had compiled information on techniques to fabricate IEDs after collecting materials from various internet sources. According to the NIA spokesperson, investigations in the case had clearly shown that the accused were terrorists of ISIS and had sworn ‘bayat’ (allegiance) to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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