An NIA court in Kochi on Saturday awarded a 30-year-old woman seven years of rigorous imprisonment in connection with a Kerala IS recruitment case. Yaseemin Mohammed Zahid was the second wife of Abdul Rashid, a native of Kasaragod, who is suspected to be the kingpin behind the alleged IS recruitment of 21 youths who went missing from Kerala in June 2016.
Yaseemin, who hails from Bihar, was caught from Delhi international airport in July 2016 while trying to move to Afghanistan allegedly at the behest of Rashid, who was already in that country then. Yaseemin had befriended Rashid while she was a teacher at Peace International School in Malappuram. Rashid had been a course coordinator at the Peace School in Kasaragode for four years before he left the school to move out of the country.
This is the first case related to IS in Kerala tried at the NIA court in Kochi. Apart from awarding seven years of rigorous imprisonment, the court slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Yaseemin, who was arrested along with her minor son.
The NIA had chargesheeted Rashid as the main accused in the case on the ground that he had inspired others to join the IS. He had allegedly invited Yaseemin to join him at the IS in Afghanistan. They faced Sections 38 and 39 of UAPA Act, apart from Section 57 of Kerala Police Act.
Yaseemin told media outside the court that she was innocent and had high regard for India’s legal system. “I am not a member of IS, I have been an Indian citizen like any other person here. I will challenge the verdict,” she said.