Malwani module: NIA court accepts guilty pleas, convicts both ISIS recruiters
A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday accepted the guilty plea of the two accused booked for radicalising youth from Malwani in Malad to join the banned terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
MUMBAI: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday accepted the guilty plea of the two accused booked for radicalising youth from Malwani in Malad to join the banned terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and held them guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The special court has now posted the case for hearing the convicts and their lawyers on the quantum of sentence on Friday.
Special NIA judge A T Wankhede on Wednesday accepted the pleas of Rizwan Ahmed, 25, and Mohsin Sayyed, 32, and held them guilty under IPC 120 B for conspiracy, section 18 of UAPA for conspiracy, section 20 of UAPA for being a member of a terrorist organisation, section 38 of UAPA for having committed offences related to membership of a terrorist organisation, and section 39 for offences related to support given to a terrorist organisation. The judge told the accused that he will decide their quantum of sentence after hearing both sides on Friday. The accused face punishment ranging from five years’ imprisonment to a life term.
The two accused had pleaded guilty before the court mid-trial in the first week of December. The court had by then already examined 39 of the 220 enlisted prosecution witnesses.
Sayyed had submitted in his plea filed before the judge, “I have been lodged in prison since the last six years, and that I was influenced by the videos and propaganda of ISIS which was widely circulated on the internet. Due to the said material, I tried to flee the country to join ISIS. I was unsuccessful after which I was arrested by the police. That while in prison reflecting upon my actions, I realised my mistakes and sincerely regret my errors. I am remorseful and regretful for my acts of omission and for commission of unlawful acts. I have suffered greatly due to my mistake and I wish to rectify it and start a new life and be a better person and take care of my old ailing parents and my family who have also suffered due to my error. I want to return to the mainstream and rehabilitate myself. My conduct in jail was satisfactory and there is nothing adverse against me. I am pleading guilty voluntarily without any pressure, threat, coercion; inducement or undue influence; and that I understand the consequences.”
While Rizwan Ahmed had submitted in his plea filed before the judge, “I want to to return to mainstream society and rehabilitate. I am having clean antecedents; even my conduct in jail was satisfactory and there is nothing adverse against me. I am remorseful for the acts alleged against me and undertake not to indulge in similar acts in the future. I was merely involved in propagation of the banned terrorist organisation and was never involved in any type of violence or killings. I may be sentenced for the period already spent in jail by me. I belong to a very poor family and have a wife and two minor children, and aged parents to look after. I have already undergone six years in jail and further punishment would cause great prejudice to my wife, old ailing parents and minor children.”
NIA special prosecutor, Prakash Shetty had said that the court should accept the unconditional pleas.
Sayyed and Ahmed are both facing trial for instigating youth including Ayaz Sultan, Mohsin Abdul Bashir and Noor Mohammad from Malwani to join the Islamic State in 2015. Maharashtra ATS and later the NIA claimed that Ahmed was the second-in-command of the ISIS wing in India. The agencies said that the duo instigated, intimidated and influenced vulnerable Muslim youth of Malwani (Malad), Mumbai, with a view to compel them to become Fidayeen or leave for Hijart with the ultimate objective of motivating them to join ISIS. The agencies claimed that the youth were hard-core followers of the ISIS ideology and its members, and had conspired with absconding accused persons Ayaz Sultan and Yusuf Al-Hindi to propagate the ideology and propel youth to join ISIS. Sultan had even managed to get a visa in 2015, and gone to Kabul and joined the terrorist outfit.