Srinagar, Oct 27, (Asia Free Press): A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court on Monday sentenced two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) members to 12-year jail terms and two other members of the outfit to 10-year terms for ‘conspiring to commit terror activities and arranging funds for those acts,’ saying “they had hatched a conspiracy to strike at the core of this nation,” according to the state-run media.
NIA Special Judge Parveen Singh awarded 12-year jail terms to Mohd. Shafi Shah and Muzzafar Ahmad Dar and 10-year-jail terms to Talib Lali and Mushtaq Ahmad Lone.
A fine of Rs 50,000, Rs 65,000, Rs 55,000, and Rs 45,000 has been imposed by the court on Shah, Dar, Lali, and Lone respectively.
According to the court, Shah, who was the divisional commander of HM, has been found guilty of an act of treason, and there can be no greater crime which affects the social order than this crime.
Shah and Lali are residents of Bandipora district in Jammu and Kashmir. Dar and Lone hail from Budgam and Anantnag districts, respectively.
The NIA filed a case against them, alleging that HM had received funds from outside the country to carry out activities in India under the guise of an organisation called the Jammu and Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust (JKART).
The four people have been convicted of offences under sections 17 (raising funds for a terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit a terrorist act), 20 (being a member of a terrorist gang or organisation), 40 (offence related to raising funds for a terrorist organisation) and 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
They have also been convicted under sections 120 (criminal conspiracy) and 121 (waging war against the Government of India) of the Indian Penal Code as well.
The four alleged argued that they never “actively participated in any terror activities which resulted in the loss of life and property and, therefore, a lenient view should be taken.” However, the judge rejected the arguments made by the convicts.
The judge held that, ‘I find that the hand which provides the gun or the motivation to take up the gun is equally liable as the hand which ultimately fires that gun’.
The judge further stated that, merely because the convicts were not directly responsible for loss of life and property, it cannot be accepted that they were not responsible for loss of life and destruction of property because of the terrorist activities of HM.
Dar has been in custody since 2009 and Lali has spent more than eight years in jail. Lone, who was alleged to be an overground worker, was arrested in 2011.