Kochi: The NIA court here on Monday convicted 18 people, including four Keralites, in the December 2007 Vagamon SIMI arms training camp case while acquitting 17 others. Special judge Kauser Edappagath found the convicts guilty under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the Explosives Substances Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Tuesday. The four from the state found guilty are main accused Saduli and P. A. Shibily, both natives of Kottayam, and Aluva residents Mohamad Ansar and Abdul Sathar.
Other convicts are Hafeez Husain (Belgaum; Karnataka), Safdar Hussain Nagori, Aamil Parwaz (both from Ujjain; Madhya Pradesh), Mohammed Sami Begevadi (Bijapur; Karnataka), Nadeem Say-eed (Belgaum), Mufti Abul Basheer (Azamgarh; Uttar Pradesh), Dr H A Asadullah (Bellary; Karnataka), Kamaruddin Nagori (Ujjain), Shakeel Ahammed (Dharwad; Karnataka), Dr Mirza Ahmed Beg (Bidar; Karnataka), Danish, Manzar Imam (both natives of Ranchi; Jharkhand), Mohammed Abu Faisal Khan (Andheri West; Mumbai) and Alam Jeb Afridi (Ahmedabad).
The video conferencing system connected the NIA Court in Kochi with jails in Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Bengaluru. While Abdul Sattar and Mohammed Asif were produced before the court here, the verdict was read out to 21 in Ahmedabad, 11 in Bhopal and one in Bengaluru. The accused in the case were also booked in cases lodged at Ahmedabad, Indore and Hubli and Belgaum. The secret SIMI camp was conducted from December 10 to 12, 2007, at Thangalpara in Vagamon, months ahead of the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts.
The probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed the attendees were imparted training in handling arms, manufacture of petrol bombs, motorbike racing and rope climbing. Forensic evidence collected from the spot confirmed the use of explosives.At least 35 accused persons faced the trial commenced in January 2017. There were 38 suspects in the case in which one accused Wasiq Billa is still absconding. Abdul Subhan Qureshi, the 38th accused and founder of Indian Mujahideen (IM), was arrested earlier this year. One Mehboob Sheikh was killed in Bhopal allegedly while attempting to escape from jail.