SIMI chief, 10 others get life terms in sedition case

INDORE: Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) chief Safdar Nagori and 10 members of his terrorist outfit were sentenced to life imprisonment by a special CBI court in Indore on Monday, in a major boost for law enforcement against the outlawed group which has allegedly been the feeder for jihadi groups.

Special CBI judge B K Paloda convicted all 11 for sedition, collecting arms, ammunition and explosives with the intention to wage war against the nation and for being active members of a banned terrorist outfit. Nagori was the general secretary of SIMI when it was banned.

“The judgment was delivered to 10 of the 11 accused through video-conferencing as they are lodged in Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad where they are being tried for the Ahmedabad blasts,” public prosecutor Vimal Mishra said. Only one of the accused, dental student from Karnataka Munroz, was in the Indore court and his father wept upon hearing the verdict.

In its 84-page judgement, the court observed, “It appears from the activities of the convict that they don’t have faith in the lawfully and constitutionally established Government of India…Their acts are against national unity and integrity of the country. They are involved in illegal activities by fomenting religious hatred with an aim to create serious danger for the entire humanity.”

Son of a policeman, Nagori broke away from the group on the issue of use of violence against the State. He soon turned into a major jihadi figure, featuring in cases like the Ahmedabad blasts and the one related to a major terror training camp in Wagamon in Kerala. He had almost succeeded in escaping from the high security Sabarmati jail in 2013.

The audacious plot, which involved digging a tunnel under the perimeter of the prison, was detected by providence as an alert sentry happened to chance upon the loose earth and raised alarm.

Under Nagori’s leadership, SIMI cadres have aided militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami in carrying out terrorist activities over the years. Besides Nagori, his brother Kamruddin Nagori, SIMI’s Karnataka unit chief Hafiz Hussain, Kerala-based SIMI activist Shivli, his brother Shaduli, Ujjain-based Amil Parvez, Karnataka doctor Ahmed Baig and Munroz, Kerala-based Ansar and Khandwa-based operative Kamran were sentenced.

A native of Ujjain, Nagori is accused in many other cases.