Pune court rules for NIA to take over probe into Maha ISIS Module case from ATS

The National Investigation Agency had moved an application, initially, before a Pune court on August 7 seeking transfer of the investigation from the Anti-Terrorism Squad

National Investigation Agency (NIA) (Photo: NH Library)
National Investigation Agency (NIA) (Photo: NH Library)

Nadeem Inamdar

District Sessions Judge S V Kachare passed an order to hand over the probe and custody of all the five accused arrested concerning the Maharashtra ISIS Module and terror attack plot case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Besides, the judge also ordered that the magisterial custody of the accused be surrendered to the NIA sleuths for further investigation and approved their transit remand to the central agency.

The NIA had, initially, moved an application before the court on Monday, August 7, seeking transfer of the investigation. The terror case was originally registered at Kothrud police station where all the five accused — identified as Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Yunus Khan and Mohammad Yunus Mohammad Yakub Saki hailing from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh (MP), Kadir Dastagir Pathan arrested from Gondia, Seemab Kazi held from Ratnagiri, and Zulfikar Ali Barodawala — will be handed over to central agency.

A notification related to the case was issued by the government last week and, accordingly, on Aug 7 the NIA officials approached the Pune court to initiate the process. State ATS SP Jayant Meena said, “NIA has taken over the case from Maharashtra ATS.”

The NIA in its application before the court had sought the ATS to hand over entire case records including statements of witnesses, materials, articles, case diaries etc., to the chief investigative officer of the NIA.

NIA had re-registered the case under Sections 34, 379, 468 and 511 of the IPC, Sections 13, 15, 16, 18 and 20 of UAPA, relevant sections of the Arms Act and Maharashtra Police Act.

The central government is of the opinion that scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act 2008 have been committed and having regard to the gravity of offences, and inter-state linkage, it is required to be investigated by NIA in accordance with the Act, it had requested. The NIA further prayed before the special court to forthwith transfer judicial records to NIA Special Court.

Before the case was taken over by the ATS, an FIR was lodged at the Kothrud police station under sections 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 379 (punishment for theft), 511 (attempting to carry out offences) and 34 (criminal act carried out by several persons) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); sections 3 (25) and 4 (25) of the Arms Act; and sections 37 (1), 37 (3) and 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.

NIA investigations have revealed that terror suspects arrested belong to the Sufa group which is deeply inspired by the ISIS ideology and was inclined towards Jehad. Members of the group encouraged and motivated youths of the area to also join this group to carry out terror attacks.

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