HC confirms conviction in Kashmir terror recruitment case

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday confirmed the conviction and life imprisonment awarded by the Ernakulam NIA special court to 11 accused, including the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Thadiyantavida Nazeer, in a case relating to the recruitment of youth for training in Kashmir for carrying out terrorist activities in the country.

The Bench comprising Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice C. Jayachandran, however, acquitted three other accused granting them the benefit of the doubt and also on grounds of lack of evidence for their involvement in the conspiracy.

The allegation by the NIA against the accused was that they had conspired to incite and instigate Muslim youth to wage war against the country for presumed atrocities perpetrated against the community. The accused were incited by their leaders Sarfaraz Nawaz, Nazeer, and Pakistan national Abdul Rehman, alias Wali, to wage war against the nation.

Four Keralite youths were killed in an encounter with the security forces. The Edakkad police in Kannur had registered a case in 2008 after they arrested first accused Abdul Jaleel who had returned from the recruitment camp . The case was transferred to the NIA in 2010.

The Bench, while dismissing the appeals by the accused against the NIA court verdict and disposing of the NIA appeal, observed it had been clearly established that a conspiracy was hatched to recruit men for terrorist activities, train them in arms and ammunition, and wage war against India, which, probably, fizzled out with four out of the five being shot dead in encounters.

It would have resulted in far reaching consequences, generally for the nation and particularly for the State; but for the sudden death of four of such recruits in encounters at Kashmir. There was a clear unbroken chain of circumstances connecting the accused, with the plot hatched to do recruitment to perpetrate terrorist activities

Assistant Solicitor General S.Manu, appearing for the NIA, argued that there was a conspiracy to carry out anti-national activities, which developed over a long period and occurred at various places and at different points of time.

The specific purpose of the recruitment was to give them training in the use of arms and ammunition and then instigate them to wage war against the country and spread terror in the country. The pivotal role was played by Nazeer who had arranged meetings of the various persons involved at different places and coordinated the activities,

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 10:42:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/hc-confirms-conviction-in-kashmir-terror-recruitment-case/article65397998.ece