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Friday, May 27, 2022

Booked under UAPA, man gets 7 years in jail after he accepts guilt

Special Judge Dinesh E Kothalikar allowed Yafai's plea and convicted him under UAPA. Yafai, in his plea, had said that he has already spent six years in jail and the trial will take a long time to commence.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
Updated: May 7, 2022 7:36:44 am
life term, life imprisonment, breaking up death, Vadodara, Vadodara news, Gujarat, Gujarat news, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsThis is the second case linked to ISIS, being prosecuted by the NIA, where the accused has sought to plead guilty. (Representational image)

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday convicted a 39-year-old man, booked on charges under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged links to terrorist organisation ISIS, and sentenced him to seven years in jail after he accepted his guilt.

Naser Abu Bakr Yafai, lodged in Taloja Central Jail since the last six years, submitted an application before the court accepting his guilt. As per NIA’s case, Yafai was in contact – through the Internet – with ISIS members and was allegedly planning to assist a member, named Farooq, in making explosives to cause a blast during the month of Ramzan.

This is the second case linked to ISIS, being prosecuted by the NIA, where the accused has sought to plead guilty.

Special Judge Dinesh E Kothalikar allowed Yafai’s plea and convicted him under UAPA. Yafai, in his plea, had said that he has already spent six years in jail and the trial will take a long time to commence.

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The NIA, which took over the probe from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in 2016, told that the court it may decide on the plea as it deems fit. Yafai’s seven-year term will include the six years he has already spent in jail.

Three of Yafai’s co-accused, including Iqbal Ahmed Kabir Ahmed, who was granted bail last year by the Bombay High Court, will continue to face trial.

While granting bail to Ahmed, HC had said that if the period of incarceration becomes unduly long, right to life and protection of fair and reasonable procedure envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution are jeopardised.

Two others, Mohammed Shahed and Mohammed Raisuddin, continue to remain in custody. The accused were booked on charges, including being members of a terrorist organisation and conspiracy.

During the trial, Yafai had challenged the ATS probe after the case was transferred to the NIA and also raised the issue of how a court in Nanded did not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter initially as UAPA was invoked. The Supreme Court had dismissed his plea last year.

In a separate case in January, two men had pleaded guilty to propagating ISIS ideology and were sentenced to eight years in jail. Rizwan Ahmed and Mohsin Sayed had said that they felt remorseful about their actions and were influenced by ISIS propaganda circulated on the Internet.

Previously, similar guilty pleas were submitted in cases related to ISIS, being prosecuted by the NIA in Delhi.

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