A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi sentenced Yasmeen Mohammad Zahid, a native of Bihar, to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for her involvement in the recruitment of 15 persons from the state’s Kasaragod district into the Islamic State terrorist group.
Before the verdict, 30-year-old Yasmeen had told a television news channel, “The time has come to prove that I am innocent. This is what I am going to tell everybody else. I know I have been having a bad picture among the people. But I hope you will come to know the truth. I have faith in the Indian constitution and the Indian judiciary.”
Justice S Santhosh Kumar, who presided over the case, sentenced Yasmeen to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years and fine of Rs 25000 for offences punishable under section 120B of IPC, section 125 of IPC, sections 38, 39 and 40 of UA(P) Act.
This was the first ISIS-related case to be filed by the Kerala police which was later transferred to the NIA.
Yasmeen was arrested by a special team of police while trying to board a flight to Afghanistan from the New Delhi airport last year. Her husband, Abdul Rashid, an engineer-turned proselytiser, is believed to be the man who was instrumental in the recruitment of 15 persons from the state into the terrorist group.
The 15-member group, consisting of doctors, engineers and nurses, had flown out to Nangarhar province in Afghanistan, a territory controlled by the Islamic State. The group had travelled together with the aim of living in a truly Islamic society. The region has seen intense fighting between Afghan security forces and ISIS fighters in 2017. Some of the members of the group are believed to have been killed in the fighting.