Like all previous cases involving members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the blasts trial of 21 alleged members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist group is also expected to be a complicated one.
Believed to be an amalgam of the banned SIMI and the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lakshar-e-Tayebba, the newly formed Indian Mujahideen is a shadowy outfit about which not much is known.
For that and other reasons, the prosecution does not expect a quick and easy trial.
Composed primarily of the lower-tier SIMI cadre, the outfit is allegedly involved in several bombings across the country in 2008, including the ones at Ahmedabad, Delhi and Jaipur.
The trial of the 21 arrested accused is expected to primarily revolve around the two e-mails sent by the group to the media by hacking into Internet protocol (IP) addresses and the arms, ammunition and explosives recovered from them.
The other major charges against the accused are conspiracy to trigger bomb blasts across the country, outraging religious feelings, and waging war against the nation.
The e-mails were sent immediately after the Jaipur bomb blasts in May and Delhi explosions in September by hacking two IP addresses in the city.
One of the IP address was traced to Khalsa College in Matunga and the other to a Chembur residence.
Chargesheet may be delayed
The chargesheet is almost ready, but some sanctions required before the prosecution of the accused are still awaited, said
sources in the Crime Branch on Monday.
“That is the reason which may delay filing of the chargesheet,” a police officer connected with the investigations said.
The officer conceded that the chargesheet was unlikely to be filed before February 11 as proposed by the prosecutor before the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOCA) court during the last remand.
“It may take 15 more days,” the officer added.
Evidence with police
Apart from the material recovered from the accused — such as arms and explosives, incriminating literature
and laptops — the police have secured confessional statements of 13 of those charged under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Under the stringent provisions of MCOCA, an accused can be convicted on the basis of his confession and the same confession can also be used against another accused if enough corroborative evidence is produced.
Some of the confessions talk of sending terror e-mails by hacking into IP addresses on the instructions of the wanted Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, two brothers who ran the organisation, and the arrested Afzal Mutalib Usmani.
Electronic evidence is expected to play a big role in the case. The police have recovered from the accused laptops, wireless routers and cards, spy locators, wi-fi location detector, RF signal detectors and wireless Net connectors.