NIA raids across 7 states in Bengaluru prison radicalisation case

The raids are currently underway at 17 places linked to the suspects

nia-pti1 Representation

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday launched multiple raids across seven states, including in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, in connection with the Bengaluru prison radicalisation case. The raids are currently underway at 17 places linked to the suspects.

As per the case, prisoners were radicalised by a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist in Karnataka. The NIA filed a chargesheet in January this year against eight person, including a life convict and two absconders.

The accused include T Naseer of Kerala's Kannur, who has been serving a life sentence in the central prison in Bengaluru since 2013. Two others, Junaid Ahmed alias "JD" and Salman Khan are suspected to have fled abroad. The others have been identified as Syed Suhail Khan alias Suhail, Mohammed Umar alias Umar, Zahid Tabrez alias Zahid, Syed Mudassir Pasha and Mohammed Faisal Rabbalias Sadath.

All eight accused persons have been charge-sheeted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Explosives Substances Act and the Arms Act.

The case was originally registered by the Bengaluru City Police on July 18 last year following the seizure of arms and ammunition, hand grenades and walkie-talkies from seven of the accused persons. The seizure was made when the seven men were in the house of one of the accused. 

According to the NIA, which took over the case in October last year, the investigations revealed that Naseer, who was involved in several blast cases, had come in contact with the other accused while they were all lodged in the Bengaluru prison in 2017.

Naseer had managed to get all of them shifted to his barrack after a careful assessment of their potential to radicalise and recruit them into the proscribed terror group, LeT. 

The agency had said he first managed to radicalise and recruit Ahmed and Khan to further the activities of the LeT. Thereafter, he conspired with Ahmed to radicalise and recruit the other accused, the official said. He also conspired with Khan to deliver arms, ammunition, hand grenades and walkie-talkies to the others as part of a plot to carry out a "fidayeen (suicide)" attack and help Naseer escape from police custody en route to court, the official said.

Ahmed also instructed his co-accused to steal used police caps for the attack and to commit arson on government buses as a practice run. The plot was foiled with the seizure of the arms in July last year.

(With PTI inputs)


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