NIA chargesheets 18 in terror recruitment case

via VR JAYARAJ | KOCHI- Daily Pioneer published on February 12, 2012

The NIA on Thursday chargesheeted 18 accused including LeT’s South India commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer, his relative and aide Shafaz and Abdul Jaleel, all from Kannur, in the case relating to the recruitment of youths from Kerala for terror training and operations in Kashmir. The chargesheet was read out to the accused as part of the trial proceedings.

All the accused have been charged with waging war against the nation in association with the LeT, criminal conspiracy, propagation of extremism through classes held inside and outside Kerala, etc. The NIA said in the chargesheet that the accused had fought against the Indian security forces in Kashmir using arms supplied by the LeT.

There are a total of 24 accused in the case. Of them, two persons including the main conspirator, a Pakistani named Abdul Wali, were yet to be caught. Four of the accused were killed in October, 2008 in an encounter with the security forces in Kupwara, Kashmir. The chargesheet had been filed against the remaining 18.

The case was initiated at the Edakkad police station in Kannur after the arrest of Abdul Jaleel in connection with the death of LeT operatives Fayaz and Faiz of Kannur, Abdul Raheem of Malappuram and Muhammad Yassin of Kochi in 2008. The NIA took over the investigation into the case later.

According to the NIA, Abdul Wali, assumed to be holed up in Pakistan presently, had given terror training to the young recruits from Kerala by camping in several places in South India. The mission of Nazeer, already jailed for life for the 2006 twin blasts at Kozhikode, was to take the recruits to Kashmir for training and terror operations.

The NIA has learned that the fund for recruitment and training of youths had been arranged by Wali and the money had come through Sarfaras Nawaz, who had arranged the funds for the Bangalore bombings also. The court had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant against Wali but sources in the NIA said possibilities of arresting him were slim.

Nazeer, said to be one of the top bosses of LeT in South India, is prime accused in several other terror cases including those of the Bangalore bombings and the burning of a Tamil Nadu State bus at Kalamassery near Kochi in 2005. Shafaz also had been sentenced to life imprisonment in the Kozhikode blasts case.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose has issued a directive to tighten the security arrangements at the prisons where the accused in various terror-related cases are lodged. Special instructions have been given to install tight security measures at the sub-jail in Ernakulam where Nazeer is expected to be lodged during the trial in the terror recruitment case.

The Kerala Police and the Prisons Department had earlier written to the State Government citing the security risks involved in the frequent transfer by road of Nazeer and other terror accused from prisons to courts and vice-versa. There was also a call to lodge these persons in the Ernakulam prison as they had to be produced in the NIA court in Kochi for the trial.

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