Kochi: In the first judicial verdict in an NIA investigated case, a local court on Friday sentenced suspected LeT militant T Naseer and another accused to life imprisonment on charges including sedition in the 2006 Kozhikode blast case. (Agencies)
The quantum of punishment was pronounced by the National Investigating Agency court judge S Vijay Kumar, a day after Naseer and Shafas were found guilty.Two others were acquitted.
Naseer was handed down three life terms and Shafas two life sentences under Section 18 and Sect 16(1) of the Unlawful Activities (prevention act) and Sect 4(b) of the Explosives Substances Act.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1.60 lakh on Naseer and Rs 1.10 lakh on Shafas.Both were awarded two years imprisonment each under Sect 124(A) of IPC (sedition) and two years each under Sect 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot).
The sentences would run concurrently, the court held. Two policemen and a porter were injured in the Kozhikode blasts.
The judge ordered the accused to do physical labour and that they be given vocational training and permitted to have reading material in vernacular language relating to patriotic persons.
NIA counsel said this was a grave crime and no leniency should be shown to the accused. As far as India was concerned, the twin blasts in a city was a very serious crime.
Citing Supreme Court rulings, he said the impact of offence was on the whole society. Peace of the society had been disturbed by exploding bombs. It creates fear in society and so no leniency should be shown.
NIA Chief Investigating officer of the case and NIA SP, T K Rajmohan, said that after formation of NIA in 2009, this was its first case in the country in which a judgement was delivered.
NIA is probing 22 cases across the country, of which seven related to Kerala, the official in charge of NIA cases in Kerala, Karnataka and Lakshadweep said. About 58 prosecution witnesses were examined by the NIA.
Naseer and Shafas were arrested by Meghalaya police at the state border while trying to cross over to Bangladesh in February 2010 and later handed over to NIA.
The two were found guilty of criminal conspiracy, creating disaffection toward government and religious enmity and charges under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
'Planting of bombs and explosion constitute terrorist act. After the blast, people were evacuated and buses were removed'. The accused also wanted to promote enmity between different groups on grounds of caste or community, disharmony or feeling of enmity, the court held.
The bomb first exploded in a garbage dump at the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus station and soon after at a nearby drain.
After the judgement was delivered amid tight security, Naseer walked upto the NIA counsel and handed him a copy of the Quran, saying 'thanks for handing me the sentence'.
Naseer is also an accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts case, in which two persons were killed and 20 others injured. Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed a petition by Naseer and Shafaz, challenging the NIA decision to make Shammi Firoz approver.
Dismissing the petition, a division bench, comprising Justices V Ram Kumar and P A Barkat Ali said the petitioners 'sinister' attempt was to prevent pronouncement of judgement by the NIA court after a fully fledged trial.
Kochi: In the first judicial verdict in an NIA investigated case, a local court on Friday sentenced suspected LeT militant T Naseer and another accused to life imprisonment on charges including sedition in the 2006 Kozhikode blast case.