A group of 14 Muslim youths arrested in Bangalore, Hubli, Hyderabad and Nanded in 2012 as part of an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba conspiracy to attack right-wing leaders in the country could face up to five years in prison as per the charges framed against them last week by a special NIA court ahead of the trial in the case.
Charges were framed under Sections 13, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 and Sections 153 and 120 of the Indian Penal Code as laid out in the chargesheet against the youths.
The youths have been charged with taking part in an unlawful activity, dealing with funds for unlawful activities and conspiring in a terrorist act. Charges have also been framed under the Indian Penal Code for promoting enmity between different groups and criminal conspiracy. The maximum sentence for the offences is five years.
The NIA had in February 2013 filed a chargesheet against Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chotu, 23, a computer applications postgraduate; Abdul Hakeem Jamadar, 25, a commerce graduate; Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti, 26, a computer applications graduate; Mohammad Akram alias Khaled, 22, a student from Nanded; Ubedullah Bahadur alias Imran, 24, a dye and tool technician; Wahid Hussain, 26, an MBA; Zafar Iqbal Sholapur ,27, a medical doctor; Mohammad Sadiq Lashkar, 29, an electrician; Mehaboob Bagalkot, 20, a construction worker; Obaid-Ur-Rehman, 24, a Hyderabad resident and nephew of the cleric Maulana Naseeruddin and Nayeem Siddique, 26, a medical doctor.
The NIA in its chargesheet had dropped charges against three persons, including a journalist and a DRDO scientist, who had earlier been among 15 youths arrested by the Bangalore police in August 2012 in connection with an alleged transnational terror plot, with alleged LeT and HuJI links, to target right-wing linked personalities in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Investigations into the case have revealed that the alleged terror plot had links to individuals in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
The NIA has indicated the involvement of a total of 25 persons in the terror plot with as many as seven persons still absconding.