A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here on Friday sentenced 13 terror convicts to five years jail for plotting to kill prominent politicians, right-wing leaders, police officers and journalists four years ago.
Pronouncing the sentence a day after the accused were convicted on pleading guilty, Special Judge C. Muralidhar Pai said as they had already spent three years and six months in the jail during the trial period, they would serve the remaining term (18 months) behind the bars.
The judge also imposed a combined fine of Rs 31,000 on the convicts.
The convicts, associated with international terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI), were charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act for conspiring to carry out terror acts and kill certain people in Bengaluru and Hubballi in Karnataka, Hyderabad, and Nanded in Maharashtra.
Among the 13 convicts, four – Syed Mujahid, Asif Ali, Suhail Ahmed and Muhammed Abdul Ahad – are from Karnataka, two – Mohammed Obedulla Khan and Abu Anas – from Hyderabad and while Mohammed Aleem is from Lucknow and Mohammed Husain Khan from Mumbai.
On a tip-off from intelligence agencies in January 2012, the Central Crime Branch of the Karnataka Police arrested the convicts in Bengaluru and Hubballi and recovered illegal firearms and ammunition following raids on their hideouts at 12 locations in six cities, including Hyderabad, Lucknow and Mumbai.
Though the case was initially registered in Bengaluru for investigation, it was transferred to NIA as some of the convicts were from other states and they plotted to commit terror acts in different parts of the country.