Five men, arrested for alleged involvement with Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), today denied before a court here the allegations of conspiring, recruiting Indian youths and establishing a base for terror outfit.
The accused, while beginning the arguments on framing of the charges, claimed innocence before Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh.
The accused persons — Mohd Asif, Zafar Masood, Mohd Abdul Rehman, Syed Anzar Shah and Abdul Sami — were charged by the Special Cell of Delhi Police for alleged offences under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Advocate M S Khan, appearing for some of the accused persons, submitted before the court that the probe agency lacked evidence against the accused to put them on trial. They were arrested between December 2015 and January 2016 from different parts of the country.
Besides the five arrested accused, the agency also charged 12 others who are at large and the court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against them.
The absconding accused are Syed Akhtar, Sanaul Haq, Mohd Sharjeel Akhtar, Usman, Mohd Rehan, Abu Sufiyan, Syed Mohd Arshiyan, Syed Mohd Zishan Ali, Sabeel Ahmed, Mohd Shahid Faisal, Farhatullah Ghori and Mohd Umar.
All 17 have been chargesheeted for alleged offences under sections 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 18-B (punishment for recruiting of any person or persons for terrorist act) and 20 (Punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA.
The probe agency has alleged that terror outfit Al-Qaeda was trying to set up its base in India under the banner of AQIS and some youths from districts of western Uttar Pradesh had already left India and joined its cadre in Pakistan.
It claimed that one of the modules of the outfit was active in Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh.