Bengaluru prison radicalisation case: NIA raids multiple places across seven states

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A file photo of the Bengaluru Central Prison.

A file photo of the Bengaluru Central Prison.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

The National Investigation Agency on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, launched multiple raids across seven states in connection with a case related to radicalisation of prisoners by a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist in Karnataka, an official said.

The raids, being conducted in connection with the Bengaluru prison radicalisation case, are underway at 17 places across seven states and further details are awaited, the official said.

Also read: Concern over Bengaluru central prison becoming hotbed for radicalisation

NIA charge-sheet

In January, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed a charge-sheet against eight people in the case. The charge-sheeted accused included T. Naseer of Kerala’s Kannur, who is serving life sentence in the central prison in Bengaluru since 2013, and Junaid Ahmed alias “JD” and Salman Khan, who are suspected to have fled abroad.

The case was originally registered by the Bengaluru Police on July 18 last year following the seizure of arms and ammunition, hand grenades and walkie-talkies from seven of the accused persons. The seizure was made when the seven men were in the house of one of the accused.

According to the NIA, which took over the case in October last year, the investigations revealed that Naseer, who was involved in several blast cases, had come in contact with the other accused while they were all lodged in the Bengaluru prison during 2017.

Naseer had managed to get all of them shifted to his barrack after a careful assessment of their potential with a view to radicalise and recruit them into the proscribed terror group, LeT.

The agency had said he first managed to radicalise and recruit Ahmed and Khan to further the activities of the LeT. Thereafter, he conspired with Ahmed to radicalise and recruit the other accused, the official said.

Foiled terror plot

He also conspired with Khan to deliver arms, ammunition, hand grenades and walkie talkies to the others as part of a plot to carry out a “fidayeen (suicide)” attack and help Naseer escape from police custody enroute to court, the official said.

Ahmed also instructed his co-accused to steal used police caps for the attack and to commit arson on government buses as a practice run. The plot was foiled with the seizure of the arms in July last year.

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