New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): The NIA Special Court, Lucknow on Thursday sentenced to death two persons for the murder of retired School Principal Ramesh Babu Shukla, in furtherance of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) conspiracy.
They have been sentenced to death under three separate charges, while concurrently being awarded life sentences and simple imprisonment under various other criminal offences.
The duo had even earlier been sentenced to death in another case (ISIS Kanpur case) of the NIA."Atif Muzaffar and Md Faisal Khan, both residents of Kanpur Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, have been awarded the death penalty and also fined Rs 5 lakh under section 302 read with section 34 of IPC. They have been also sentenced to death, along with a Rs 50,000 fine, under section 120B of IPC, besides being awarded the death penalty with a fine of Rs 5 lakh under section 16(1)(a) of UA(P) Act," read NIA press release.
The court further convicted them under section 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and pronounced life imprisonment with Rs 1 lakh in fine on the said charge. In addition, they have been sentenced to three years simple imprisonment with a fine of Rs 10,000 under sections 3, 2527 of the Arms Act."The NIA Court on September 4, 2023, found the accused guilty of killing the retired school principal of Swami Atmaprakash Brahmachari Junior High School in Kanpur. Shukla was killed by the duo on October 24, 2016, near Pyondi village in Kanpur. One of the accused in the instant case, Mohammad Saifulla, had died in an exchange of fire with the Anti-Terrorist Squad, UP, on the night of March 7, 2017," read the release. On July 12, 2018, the NIA had filed a Chargesheet against the two accused. The chargesheet revealed that they were deeply radicalised by the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a proscribed terrorist organisation, and wanted to eliminate all those whom they believed to be disbelievers.
The two men had conspired to further the ideology of ISIS by carrying out terrorist acts in India and had planned to target non-Muslims. In furtherance of their criminal conspiracy, they murdered Ramesh Babu Shukla, with the intention of striking terror among the masses. The case was initially registered as case No 884/2016 dated October 24, 2016, at PS Chakeri, Kanpur Nagar, UP, and re-registered by the NIA on November 18, 2017.Atif Muzaffar and Md Faisal Khan were earlier sentenced to death and imposed a fine of Rs 1000 in an ISIS case, in Kanpur, UP (RC-03/2017/NIA-LKW). The case was initially registered as FIR No 03/2017 dated 8th March 2017 at PS ATS, Lucknow and re-registered by NIA on March 14, 2017. Investigations in the case had established that the accused were members of ISIS and had sworn'bayat' (allegiance) to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Atif Muzaffar was the group's Amir (leader) and was influenced by the propaganda of Dr Zakir Naik. He was found to be accessing IS-related websites frequently, from where he was downloading content and videos and sharing the same with the others in his group. "The accusedpersons were involved in the propagation of ISIS ideology and promotion of its activities in India. NIA investigations revealed that the accused had prepared and tested some IEDs and had unsuccessfully tried to plant them at various locations in UP," stated the press release.
A notebook seized from their Haji Colony (Lucknow) hideout was found to contain handwritten notes about potential targets and details about bomb-making.
Investigations had also led to the discovery of several photographs of the accused making IEDs and even with weapons, ammunition and ISIS flag. The group had reportedly collected illegal weapons and explosives from various places. (ANI)