After Sufiya arrest, Madani a liability for Cong, CPM

via PNS | Thiruvananthapuram published on December 18, 2009

PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani’s wife Sufiya has been put behind the bars as tenth accused in the terror case of burning of a Tamil Nadu State bus in 2005 but leaders of the ruling CPI(M) and the Opposition Congress are yet to end their claims, allegations and counter-allegations over who took the right action and who caused lapses. The BJP also is on the scene with sharp allegations against both the Congress and the CPI(M).

Wide acceptance is being accorded to the BJP’s argument that the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF and the Congress-led Opposition UDF are equally responsible for the delay four-year delay in arresting Sufiya, co-accused of top LeT operative Thadiyantavide Nazeer and charged with conspiracy and incitement in the bus-burning case.

Immediately after the police arrested Sufiya in Kochi on Thursday, Home Minister and CPI(M) Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan claimed that the police action enhanced the image of the LDF Government with respect to its “relentless” attitude towards extremism. Kodiyeri also said that the former UDF Government had slept over several evidences against Sufiya for eight months without talking any action.

The Kalamassery bus-burning incident had taken place on September 9, 2005, when the UDF was in power in the State. There were reports about statements by accused and witnesses that pointed to the role of Sufiya in the incident even then. One of the accused had reportedly said that Sufiya had planned and funded the attack as an act of revenge against the Tamil nadu authorities. However, the UDF, which had sought the PDP’s support in the 2001 Assembly election, failed to take timely action.

Responding to Kodiyeri’s allegations in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, Opposition leader and senior Congress functionary Oommen Chandy asked the Home Minister why the LDF Government’s police had taken more than 42 months to move against Sufiya Madani. The LDF Government had taken charge in the State on May 18, 2006.

Chandy, who was chief minister holding also the Home portfolio when the incident took place, wanted to know the details of the circumstances that had led to the arrest of Sufiya on Thursday. “Kodiyeri is speaking about my lapses in arresting Sufiya in those eight months. I am asking him for the reason of his lapses in the same matter for 42 months,” Chandy said.

Chandy said the UDF, while going out of power, had handed over all the evidences the then Home Department had gathered in the case to the new LDF Government. “Why was the delay in arresting Sufiya when he was in possession of the same evidences that he was now speaking of,” asked Chandy. He claimed that the UDF had never tried to mix law and order issues with politics.

Kerala had seen both the leading fronts seeking the electoral support of Abdul Nasser Madani’s party.
According to Madani himself, none other than Muslim League leader PK Kunhalikkutty had written a letter to him when he was in prison asking for the PDP’s support in the 2001 election. He had also exhibited posters featuring his photo printed for the election campaign of Congress’s PP Thankachan, presently the UDF convener.

As the fight over who had served the PDP more is going on, the BJP is alleging that both the UDF and the LDF are being hypocritical about their commitment to the war against terror in relation to the Madani factor. The party says that the UDF did not act against Sufiya even when it had evidences and the LDF had sat on these evidences for the past 42 months and had arrested Sufiya when there was no alternative as the Karnatraka Police was going to take her into custody anyway.

State Yuva Morcha president K Surendran said in Kozhikode on Friday that he did not hope to see any progress in the probe of bus-burning in so far as the Kerala Police handled it. He demanded that Sufiya should be handed over to the National Investigation Agency or the Karnataka Police.

“Even now, several things about the Kerala Police probe into the bus-burning case are mysterious,” he said, pointing out that Sufiya had been getting several benefits from the police that were normally denied to accused in terror cases.

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