NIA court convicts 18 of organising SIMI camp in Kerala's Wagamon

An NIA court will announce the quantum of punishment for the convicted later

The NIA court to pronounce the quantum of punishment tomorrow.

A special court for National Investigation Agency cases here on Monday found 18 accused, including four Keralites, guilty in a case relating to holding of a secret training camp by the outlawed SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) at Wagamon in Idukki in December 2007. Investigations have revealed that the participants were imparted training, in handling arms, manufacture of petrol bombs, motorbike racing and rope climbing. The secret SIMI camp was conducted from December 10 to 12, 2007, at Thangalpara in Vagamon, months ahead of the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts. Abdul Subhan Qureshi, the 38th accused and founder of Indian Mujahideen (IM), was arrested earlier this year.

Two of the convicts came to the court today, while the others who are in jails in Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Bengaluru attended the proceedings via video conference.

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These accused persons were found guilty of offense under UnlawfulActivities Prevention Act (UAPA) sections- 10 (being member of the unlawful association) and 38 (member who associate with the terrorist organisation); Explosive Substances Act section 4 for possession of explosive substances and section 120 (b) of IPC for criminal conspiracy. Sources in the NIA said the agency was satisfied about the court's verdict.

Four Keralites, including two brothers, Shimli and Shibli (both engineering graduates), are among the convicted. One charge-sheeted accused Wasik Billa is still absconding, while another accusedn Mehboob was killed during an encounter in Bhopal in October, 2016. The case was handed over to NIA in 2010. It is alleged that in and around November 2007, office bearers and functionaries of SIMI, a banned organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, entered into a criminal conspiracy in Choral, Indore, Madhya Pradesh to conduct training camps for their active cadres.

The NIA told the court that the convicts tried to learn battle skills in a training camp in order to wage a war against India.

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