IS Kanpur module case: NIA Court pronounces death sentence to 7

Another NIA court in Ahmedabad sentenced two to 10 years of RI

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By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 01 March, 2023 6:31 pm IST

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Lucknow awarded death sentence to seven accused and life imprisonment for one in the ISIS Kanpur module case.

Meanwhile, a special court in Ahmedabad sentenced two persons to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) in the ISIS Rajkot case.

NIA spokesperson said that continuing the tradition of evidence-based investigations, which rely on scientifically collected hard evidence, the NIA has achieved yet another milestone.

“Both cases relate to the online radicalization of the accused in the name of ISIS, their motivation to commit violent jihad and cause terror attacks in the country,” the official said.

The official said that the eight accused from Uttar Pradesh – Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Asif Iqbal aka Rocky, Mohammad Atif aka Atif Iraqi, Mohammad Faisal, Mohammad Azhar and Gauss Mohammad Khan all from Kanpur Nagar, Sayed Meer Hussain of Kannauj, along with deceased Mohammad Saifullah – had set up a hideout in Haji Colony in Lucknow.

“They had prepared and tested some IEDs. They unsuccessfully tried to plant them at various locations in UP,” the official said. “The probe led to the discovery of several photographs of the accused making IEDs and even with weapons, ammunition and an ISIS flag. The group had reportedly collected illegal weapons and explosives from various places,” the official said.

The official claimed that Atif and three others, identified as Mohammad Danish, Sayed Meer Hussain and Mohammad Saifulla, had been responsible for fabricating the IED that was planted in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train. The train explosion on March 7, 2017, had left 10 injured, the official said.

“All eight had come together to propagate ISIS ideology and promote its activities in India. In pursuit of this objective, Mohammad Faisal, Gauss Mohammad Khan, Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Mohammad Saifulla explored land routes,” an NIA official said.

“They had visited several key cities across the country – including Kolkata, Sundarbans, Srinagar, Amritsar, Wagah Border, Badmer, Jaisalmer, Mumbai and Kozhikode – for undertaking ‘hijrah’ (migration),” the official said.

The official also added that Gauss Mohammad Khan and Atif Muzaffar had, in fact, explored a route to cross over to Bangladesh via the Sundarbans.

While Faisal, Atif and Saifulla had also travelled to Kashmir in March 2016 in a bid to contact some terrorist groups that could help them to cross over to Pakistan, from where they could migrate to ISIS-controlled territories in Syria, the official said.

The NIA official also said that another accused, Saifulla, was killed during an exchange of fire with ATS UP on March 7, 2017, in Lucknow Haji Colony.

A case was registered on March 8, 2017, at the ATS police station in Lucknow and re-registered by the NIA on March 14 of the same year. The NIA filed a charge sheet against the eight accused on August 31, 2017.

Post the trial, the eight accused persons were convicted on February 24 this year and on Tuesday, NIA Special Judge, Lucknow Court pronounced sentence convicting the accused under various offences of IPC, UA(P) Act, Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act.

Seven of the accused – Mohammad Faisal, Gauss Mohammad Khan, Mohammad Azhar, Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Sayed Meer Hussain and Asif Iqbal aka Rocky – have been awarded the death penalty, while Mohammad Atif aka Atif Iraqi has been sentenced to life imprisonment, the official said.

In a separate ISIS-related case, the Gujarat NIA Special Court sentenced two terrorists to ten years in prison in the ISIS Rajkot module case.

The module was involved in radicalising and recruiting cadres to carry out terror acts in India in the name of ISIS using social media platforms such as Skype and Telegram.

Accused Vaseem Arif Ramodia aka Ninja Fox and Naeem Arif Ramodia aka ND, both brothers and residents of Rajkot.

“Investigations have revealed that they used online chats and messages to advocate and spread the ideology of ISIS. They arranged, participated in, and assisted in organising online discussions and meetings among active ISIS operatives to plan and execute acts of violence and terrorism,” the official said.

“They had tried to commit arson by burning vehicles and shops belonging to non-Muslims. They unsuccessfully tried to fabricate an IED as well. Both accused were preparing to carry out a lone-wolf attack at Chotila Temple on the orders of their online ISIS handlers. They had already scouted the area but were apprehended before they could carry out the attack,” the official added.

With the pronunciation of these two sentences, the conviction rate of NIA cases stands at 93.69 per cent, the official added.

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