Mumbai: Alleged ISIS recruit of Parbhani module gets bail
Iqbal Ahmed Kabir Ahmed, an alleged recruit of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Parbhani, who was arrested along with two others in 2016 for having links with the terrorist group was granted bail by the Bombay high court
Iqbal Ahmed Kabir Ahmed, an alleged recruit of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Parbhani, who was arrested along with two others in 2016 for having links with the terrorist group was granted bail by the Bombay high court. The HC, while permitting the release of Ahmed on furnishing personal a bond of ₹1 lakh and sureties, has imposed stringent conditions and asked him to stay within the jurisdiction of the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai.
Ahmed has also been directed to report to NIA Mumbai branch on a regular basis till the conclusion of trial and will have to surrender his passport and has been restrained from tampering with the evidence and asked to cooperate with the investigators and attend court as and when required.
The division bench of justice SS Shinde and justice NJ Jamadar, after hearing the bail application of Ahmed at length, had been informed by senior advocate Mihir Desai that as he had been arrested and was in jail since 2016 and the trial was not expected to begin any time soon Ahmed deserved to be released on bail. The bench had reserved its order on July 14 and pronounced the same on Friday, August 13.
In August 2016, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested two persons namely Nasir Chaus and Shaheed Khan for hatching a conspiracy to target the Aurangabad ATS unit. The duo had disclosed the name of Ahmed who was subsequently arrested in the same month. Ahmed and the others were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly joining the ISIS.
According to the prosecution, Ahmed was part of the Parbhani module of ISIS and was a co-conspirator in the plan to attack Aurangabad ATS and target a senior police officer who had killed an alleged SIMI operative in 2012. The case was later transferred to the NIA.
During arguments Desai had pointed to the fact that the charge sheet did not show Ahmed’s involvement in making explosive devices and stated that the NIA could not establish that his client had propagated the IS ideology. He referred to statements of witnesses which said that they had heard the accused discussing ISIS only in context of world politics.
Desai sought bail for Ahmed on the lines of the Areeb Majeed case and said that his client would cooperate with the probe and attend the trial once it commenced.
Special public prosecutor Aruna Pai for NIA had, however, opposed the application and stated that there was sufficient incriminating material against Ahmed to show that he was working against national interests. She had also submitted that due to the pandemic the special NIA court was finding it difficult to hear cases on a day-to-day basis. Pai had added that while the prosecution had been doing its duty in a time bound manner, the delay was being caused as Ahmed and the co-accused had been filing multiple petitions before the court.
After hearing the submissions and while reserving its order, the court had observed that many accused were languishing in jail as trials failed to commence for a long time and the pandemic had further contributed towards paralysing the system. The order containing details and grounds for grant of bail will be uploaded in due course.