“Teen in contact with IS” leaves his observation house after more than 3 years

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The AURANGABAD Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Wednesday released a 17-year-old boy accused of being involved in a terrorist attack plot and being in contact with an alleged “Islamic State handler”.

While the Commission concluded that the boy was involved in the crime, his sentence was triggered because he had already spent three years and almost four months in an observation house – the maximum time for which a child in conflict with the law can be sentenced under the juvenile penalty. Justice Act.

The boy from a middle-class family, who had just passed grade 10 with a good score, was chosen by Maharashtra’s counter-terrorism squad in January 2019 along with nine men who allegedly formed a ‘terrorist group’ on the app mobile Telegram and were plotting a chemical attack on a large religious gathering with the alleged aim of causing mass deaths.

The case was registered by the ATS under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, 18 (conspiracy), 20 (being a member of a terrorist organization), 38 (associating with or claiming being associated with a terrorist organization for carrying out their activities), 39 (for supporting a terrorist organization) of the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act and 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.

The ATS had alleged that the nine defendants had formed a terrorist group by creating a group on the Telegram mobile application called “Unmat-E-Mohamadiya”, which means followers of the Prophet and made certain trusted people its members and qu ‘Through the group, they were in contact with an Abu Hamza, an ISIS terrorist who was their master. The minor would have been part of the group.

His family and lawyer said police were also unable to recover any objectionable material during the investigation.

Khan Salim Khan, the minor’s lawyer, said: “On Wednesday, the JJB said he had been found involved in the crime, but as he had already suffered more than three years of detention in an observation house, the sentence was triggered and the release order was issued.

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The boy was unable to continue his education as there were no such facilities and lost more than three academic years of his life which he will never be able to recover.

He said the detailed copy of the order is yet to come.

Khan has said twice in the last three years that the boy’s bail had been rejected by the courts on the grounds that he might be influenced by the defendant wanted in the case because of his young age even though the he prosecution was trying to get the court to order that he be tried as an adult.

The JJB, Magistrate’s Court and High Court dismissed the plea stating that the articles relied upon in the case were not of an odious nature and that the child in conflict with the law cannot be treated as an adult. .

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