NIA court convicts 18 of organising SIMI camp in Kerala’s Wagamon
Eighteen of the 35 people accused of organising a secret camp of the banned Islamic Students Federation of India (SIMI) in Kerala’s Wagamon that was found to be the source of several terror attacks later were convicted by a NIA court on Monday.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi acquitted 17 others after holding the trial through video conference, connecting different jails in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Bengaluru.
The quantum of punishment for the convicted will be announced on Tuesday.
The secret camp was held in Thangalpara of Wagamon in Idukki district of Kerala from December 10–12, 2007, dodging investigating agencies. Later, many terror cases and the birth of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen were traced to this camp.
There were 38 accused in the case, but two, including Wasiq Billa are absconding. Another accused Mehboob Mallick was shot dead while trying to escape from Bhopal Central Jail in 2016.
Founder-member of the Indian Mujahideen, Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Taqueer, nicknamed Indian Bin Laden, also attended the secret camp.
Four Keralites, including two brothers, Shimli and Shibli (both engineering graduates), are among the convicted.
The prosecution said all those who attended the camp were imparted training in handling arms, rock climbing, manufacture of bombs and other terror activities.
They were charged with waging war against the country, criminal conspiracy, violating the arms act and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code.