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Delhi court sentences 4 AQIS operatives to seven years, 5 months in jail

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) A Delhi court on Tuesday handed seven years and five months’ jail terms to four Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operatives, who were convicted on February 10 of conspiracy for the commission of a terrorist act.

Special Judge Sanjay Khanagwal of Patiala House Court sentenced Mohd Asif, Mohd Abdul Rehman, Zafar Masood and Abdul Sami. The court had convicted the four under the relevant Sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

According to the convicts’ counsel, the four have already spent about seven years in jail, which will be taken into consideration as part of the punishment.

However, on the basis of the offences proved by the prosecution, life imprisonment is the maximum punishment.

On February 10, two suspects, Syed Mohd Zishan Ali and Sabeel Ahmed were acquitted.

On December 14, 2015, the police arrested Asif, a resident of Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh, who was found to be the India head of AQIS.

“On the basis of his revelations, Zafar Masood was also arrested from Sambhal on December 15, 2015 and Mohd Abdul Rehman was nabbed from Cuttack, Odisha on December 16, 2015,” a senior police officer of Delhi Police’s Special Cell had said.

According to the police, Rehman had visited Pakistan illegally and met top militants there including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Sajid Mir, both wanted for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

“Abdul Sami, a resident of Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) was apprehended from Mewat on January 17, 2016. He was a Pakistan-trained militant,” the police had said.

During investigation, the names of the two who were acquitted also surfaced as part of a conspiracy for providing financial and logistics assistance to the cadres of AQIS in the UAE.

“Ali was deported from UAE in 2017 and was arrested in this case whereas Sabeel Ahmad was deported in 2020. Sabeel was initially arrested in a terror case in Bengaluru (Karnataka) by NIA from IGI Airport in Delhi and later on, he was arrested in this case,” the official had said.