The former all-India head of SIMI, Safdar Nagori, and his 10 accomplices were awarded life imprisonment by a Special Court in Indore on Monday, nearly nine years after they were nabbed from a house in Indore. Besides Nagori, the others convicted are Hafiz Hussain (35), Amil Parvaz (40), Peedical Shibli (38), Kamruddin Nagori (42), Peedical Shahduli (32), Qamran (40), Ansar (35), Ahmed Baig (32), Yasin (35) and Munroz (40).
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A special task force of Madhya Pradesh police, along with police teams from Indore and Dhar, had taken 13 members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India into custody on March 26, 2008. The SIMI operatives, who hailed from Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra, were charged with sedition, whipping up communal tension, and under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act and Explosives Act.
The police said they found pistols, cartridges, anti-national literature and explosives on the top-floor house of Gafoor Khan’s bakery in Shyamnagar locality of Indore and from a farmhouse in Choral, on the border of Indore and Khargone districts. They said the farmhouse, belonging to one of the accused, was used to indoctrinate members with Al-Qaeda propaganda, and train them in arms and explosives.
“Their activities prove they don’t have faith in the Indian Constitution. Their acts are against national unity and… pose a serious threat to entire mankind on the basis of religious hatred. The accused are Indian citizens but its sad and unfortunate that charges against them were proved. Keeping the nation’s interest in mind and going by facts and circumstances that proved their crime, they are convicted,’’ said Special Judge B K Paloda.
Only Munroz, who was out on bail, was in court. The remaining 10, lodged in Sabarmati Jail, heard it via a video conference. Munroz was taken into custody.
District prosecution officer Vimal Mishra told The Indian Express that the accused were sentenced to life imprisonment under Sections 122 and 124A of the IPC and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. They were also convicted for promoting enmity between groups on religious grounds and for carrying arms and explosives.