HC asks NIA to reply to plea by 4 JeM men challenging life term for recruiting, training youth for militancy

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday sought the response of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to a plea by four members of terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) challenging life imprisonment awarded to them in a case of recruiting and training youths for militant activities.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh issued notice on the four separate petitions and asked the NIA to file its reply.

The court listed the matter for further hearing in March.

On November 28, 2022, Bilal Ahmad Mir, Sajad Ahmad Khan, Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat and Mehraj Ud Din Chopan were awarded life term by a trial court here after they pleaded guilty to the charges.

Besides them, Ishfaq Ahmed Bhat was also sentenced to life imprisonment and Tanveer Ahmed Ganie a five-year jail term.

The trial court had held that all the convicts were involved in a conspiracy with each other to wage war against India.

It had said the convicts were “not only members of JeM but they have been supporting/ harbouring terrorists/ members of JeM by providing them arms/ ammunition, logistic supports and explosives.” The trial court had said, “The accused were also involved in enticing/ motivating locals of Jammu & Kashmir to go into militancy and arranging funds, etc. for carrying out militant acts and therefore they all are liable to be convicted for offence u/s 120B IPC as well as u/s 18 of UA(P)Act.” The NIA had lodged an FIR in March 2019 and started the investigation.

The probe agency had said the accused were trained by Pakistan-based JeM operatives to do reconnaissance of targets, arrange hideouts, and provide logistical support to militants and to carry out terror attacks in India.

In pursuance of the conspiracy, a large number of unknown Pakistan-trained militants, trainers of weapons and explosives belonging to the JeM have illegally infiltrated into the Indian territory recently, the trial court had noted.

Another Pakistani national, Kari Mufti Yasir (since expired), had infiltrated into India and reached south Kashmir to recruit, train and motivate local Kashmiri youths to carry out militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India, including Delhi-NCR, it had said.

The trial court had said Sajad Ahmed Khan was specifically sent to Delhi to carry out reconnaissance of important targets and to set up hideouts in Delhi as well as to radicalise and recruit youths of Uttar Pradesh and other states, to provide them weapon and training with the intention of threatening unity, integrity and sovereignty of India and to wage war against the Government of India.–(PTI)

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