A court in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur on Wednesday sentenced four persons, including a couple linked to banned groups SIMI and Indian Mujahideen, to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) for channeling funds for terror activities, observing their act intended to ”disrupt sovereignty and integrity” of India.
Additional District and Session Judge (IV) Ajay Singh Rajput convicted the four – Dheeraj Sao (21), Pappu Mandal, Jubair Hussain (42) and his wife Ayesha Bano (39) – under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), an anti-terror law, and acquitted one person.
The court observed, “Keeping in view the prosecution evidence in the case and the entire circumstances in which the incident took place, it appears that the act of the accused is intended to disrupt sovereignty and integrity of India, which does not seem lawful to be lenient towards them.” The judge awarded 10-year RI each under separate sections of the UAPA to the convicts, while Sao was also sentenced to one year rigorous jail term under section 417 of the IPC (punishment for cheating), Public Prosecutor KK Shukla said.
All the punishment will run concurrently, he added.
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The court acquitted another accused Sukhen Haldar (28), a native of West Bengal, and ordered his release if he is not required in other cases, Shukla said.
In December 2013, Sao, a resident of Jamui in Bihar who ran a roadside eatery in Transport Nagar under Khamtarai police station limits of Raipur, was nabbed by a team of the state’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) based on specific inputs about his links with terror modules, he said. Sao was channeling funds, which he received from a Pakistan national named Khalid, to people linked with terror outfits Indian Mujahideen/SIMI through an account maintained with a bank in Raipur as well as in Jamui, Shukla said.
Haldar was later arrested in the case, he said.
According to the prosecution, Sao had deposited cash in the bank accounts of SIMI and IM operatives Jubair Hussain and Ayesha Bano in Mangaluru, Karnataka, through his own account.
Bano and Hussain were later arrested by a team of the Bihar ATS from Mangaluru on charges of terror funding, he added.
Notably, before the arrest of Sao, the Chhattisgarh police in November 2013 had busted a module of the SIMI by arresting at least 16 operatives of the outift from Raipur.