Sheikh Azhar-ul-Islam, 24, from Jammu and Kashmir and Mohammad Farhan, 25, from Maharashtra, were sentenced today by a district judge in a case investigated by the National Investigation Agency or NIA.
The conviction came a month after Islam and Farhan pleaded guilty to the charges. They had filed an application through their lawyer saying they “are remorseful of the acts” and wanted to “rehabilitate themselves and be productive for the society”.
The two men, along with another man Adnan Hassan, had been arrested in January last year after they were deported from Abu Dhabi. The NIA had alleged that they had made multiple trips to Dubai to recruit others. The agency had also recovered 25 electronic devices including laptops, mobile phones from the two men.
The NIA in its report had told court had told court that the accused had formed a number of groups on platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Kik, VKontakte, Viber and Skype to unite “like-minded people” from different parts of the world. Along with their associates they also raised and distributed funds to further the work of ISIS, the probe agency said.
The court order said, “They conspired against governments of different sovereigns including India by organising online meetings of like-minded people who shared views in support of ISIS. They also incited, instigated and motivated people to join ISIS.”
“They were trying to influence others by disseminating incriminating contents justifying and glorifying the terrorist acts of ISIS,” it added.
The order came a day after four men were arrested for being ISIS sympathisers in a joint operation across states kike Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and Delhi, and a case was registered by the Uttar Pradesh anti-terror police unit.