Two Keralites in NIA’s terror list

via Daily Pioneer-Kochi published on October 27, 2011

Muhammad Azhar and PP Yusuf, Keralites accused in the Kozhikode twin blasts case of March 3, 2006 are among the 25 persons declared as most wanted terrorists by the NIA. The Interpol is expected to issue a red corner notice against the duo, said to be holed up in the Gulf, within a month.

Azhar, hailing from Cheruparamba, and Yusuf belonging to Thalipparambu, both in Kannur district, are second and eighth accused respectively in the twin blasts case in which Bangalore bombings accused and LeT’s self-styled South India commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer and another terrorist have already been convicted.

The NIA has charged Azhar and Yusuf with offences under IPC 120B (criminal conspiracy), 124A (attempt to excite hatred towards the Government), 153A (creating enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 324 and 34, various sections of Unlawful Assembly Prevention Act and Section 3, 4 and 5 of Explosive Substances Act.

The NIA has requested the Union Home Department to take necessary steps for getting the Interpol to issue an alert against the duo. The agency has also sought the help of the Dubai police to trace Azhar and Yusuf. NIA sources said they had information that Azhar was in Dubai while Yusuf was in Saudi Arabia.

As per information collected by the Intelligence Bureau and the NIA, the duo had gone to the Gulf to work in aluminium fabrication and had had quit their jobs a year later. The NIA had reportedly questioned their sponsor but he had not been able to provide any clear information about their present whereabouts.

The simultaneous blasts at the Mosffusil bus stand the bus station of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation in Kozhikode city on March 3, 2006 were perhaps the first major acts of Islamist terror in Kerala. According to the NIA chargesheet, the bombs were manufactured at the house premises of Azhar in Kannur.

The designated NIA court in Kochi had on August 12 sentenced first accused Nazeer and his aide and fourth accused Shafaz to life imprisonment in the case. Nazeer was handed down three life terms while Shafaz was sentenced to two life terms though the sentences were to run concurrently.

The judge had also slapped fine of Rs 160,000 on Nazeer while Shafaz was asked to pay a fine of Rs 110,000. He had acquitted third accused Abdul Halim giving him the benefit of doubt and another accused Aboobacker Yusuf for want of evidence. Fifth accused Shammi Feroze had turned an approver.

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