Kochi: Terming the Narath arms training incident organised by PFI activists as a terrorist activity, the NIA Special Court, Ernakulam, on Wednesday awarded seven-year jail term to first accused Abdul Azeez and five years to the other 20 accused.
The court acquitted the 22nd accused Kamarudheen giving him the benefit of doubt. Judge S. Santhosh Kumar, who pronounced the judgment, observed that considering the age of the accused, a lenient view was taken.
The court noted that all the accused were between the age group of 21 and 30. One accused P. Jamsheed was just 19 at the time of arrest and six persons were 21 while attending the training at Narath in Kannur district.
“On a reading of the deposition of the witnesses, there cannot be any two opinions that it was intended to cause disharmony among the members of Muslim community and others, especially Hindu,” the court observed.
The accused are workers of SDPI/PFI which is a political party and it is not a banned organisation. However, they had no authority to train the cadres in using weapons, the court said.
The first accused Abdul Azeez had claimed that it was a yoga class. “Yoga class using weapons is rather unheard of,” the court said.
“If communal disharmony is brought to the mind of the young generation, it will cause disastrous consequences which will be a threat to national integration,” it said.
The court also considered the age of the accused while awarding the sentence. The police had raided the weapons training camp and taken into custody 21 PFI activists at Narath in April, 2013.
The police had found swords, country-made bombs, gun powder, pellets and highly inflammable petroleum products.