A special court on Wednesday accepted the application of two youths accused of propagating the ideology of the banned terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS) among local youth in Malad’s Malvani area in 2015. In their plea, both had pleaded guilty of the charges against them.
Rizwan Ahmed, 25 and Mohsin Sayyed, 32, were produced before the court from judicial custody on Wednesday for it to verify the contents of their written application with them in person. The two, on being asked by special judge AT Wankede if they had made the application under any pressure, told the court that it was voluntary. The court also explained to them the consequences of their pleading guilty to the charges, in terms of the minimum and maximum punishment it could entail. The duo said they were aware of the same, when asked.
The court would now decide on the quantum of sentence it should impose on them. It would hear their advocate AR Bukhari as well the special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the prosecuting agency in the case, on the quantum of sentence on Friday before deciding on it.
The trial had begun in the case in Oct 2018 and the prosecution had examined over 30 witnesses, among whom were two star witnesses. In their application pleading guilty, the two had said that they were lured by sentimental material online in their younger days. They said further that they wanted to return to mainstream society and rehabilitate themselves.
As per the NIA’s case, the two were hardcore members of the terrorist organizaton and in conspiracy with two absconding accused had persuaded local youth from Malad’s Malvani area to join the outfit. Both were arrested in Jan 2016. The two are facing charges under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) dealing with conspiracy of terror activity, membership of a terrorist organization, support given to such outfit and for criminal conspiracy under the IPC.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)