Safdar Hussain Nagori and 10 others, who were members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were convicted and sentenced to life by an Indore district court on Monday on charges of sedition in indulging in terrorist activities, nine years after they had been arrested.
The convicted members of the SIMI were awarded life imprisonment for possessing weapons, explosives and ammunition and also for plotting anti-national activities, according to local media reports. The 11 men were arrested by a joint Special Task Force (STF) team of Indore and Dhar police from Indore's Shyam Nagar area in March 2008.
Besides Nagori, who was the leader of the outlawed armed faction, the others who were arrested include — Qamruddin, Shaduli, Kamran, Yaseen, Dr Ahmad Baig, Amil Parvej, Ansar Hafeez, Shivni and Manuroz.
Nagori and nine other accused are currently lodged in Ahmedabad's Sabarmati Jail where they were informed about the judgment through video conferencing. Manuroz, the only accused who was out on bail and also present in the court, was taken into custody, according to local media reports. There were a total of 27 witnesses in the case.
The police, in 2008, had accused them of planning terror attacks in the country. Explosives, firearms and ammunition, among other things, were also recovered from a farmhouse near Shyam Nagar in Indore on the intervening night of March 26-27, 2008. The STF of Madhya Pradesh Police had also seized incendiary literature in Urdu and Hindi from the accused. Weapons were also recovered from a farmhouse in Chorai.
The accused, during their last appearance in the district court, had asked Special Judge BK Paloda to apprise them of the verdict through video conferencing. They were booked for sedition under the Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.