NIA court convicts 18 in Wagamon SIMI training camp case, 17 acquitted

  • NIA court convicts 18 in Wagamon SIMI training camp case, 17 acquitted

NIA court convicts 18 in Wagamon SIMI training camp case, 17 acquitted

The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment tomorrow.

Alamzeb Afridi (in pic), the 2014 Church street bomber, along with 17 others, including six individuals from Karnataka have been proven guilty of attending a terror training camp at Wagamon in Kerala in December 2007 and have been convicted by an NIA special court at Kochi in Kerala on Monday.

These accused persons were found guilty of offence under Unlawful Activities 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.

The NIA said that 33 accused persons lodged in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bhopal and Bengaluru prisons were produced through video conference, while remaining two accused persons were produced physically. According to the investigators, the camp had become the de-facto launch-pad for a series of terror activities in the country.

Four Keralites, including two brothers, Shimli and Shibli (both engineering graduates), are among the convicted.

The NIA had made Qureshi, an accused in connection with the financial assistance SIMI, had received for organising the camp. Later, many terror cases and the birth of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen were traced to this camp. Another accused Mehboob Mallick was shot dead while trying to escape from Bhopal Central Jail in 2016. The planning for several explosions that occurred in the country was conducted at this camp, it was found.

An NIA Special Court here on Tuesday sentenced the convicts in the Vagamon SIMI Case to seven years of rigorous imprisonment. The authorities had come under heavy criticism over the failure of the Intelligence agencies in acquiring information about such a planned training camp. The prosecution said the SIMI members met in Indore in November 2007 and made a decision to run training camps in some states. The SIMI operatives had also allegedly conducted classes at the Vagamon camp for training the operatives to advocate, incite and abet terror activities and to disrupt communal harmony.