Bangalore Police to question Madani, wife

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on February 16, 2010

The Bangalore Police have asked Islamist leader and PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani and his wife Sufiya to be present in the Karnataka capital on Thursday for questioning in connection with the Bangalore blasts of 2008 and the Kozhikode twin explosions of 2006.

Two constables from the Karnataka Police handed over a formal notice asking Madani to cooperate with the procedure to him at the house of PDP’s district chief Mylakkad Shah at Kollam, where he was staying, late Monday night. PDP sources indicated that Madani was unlikely to be at Bangalore on Thursday.

The Bangalore Police’s decision to question Madani and Sufiya was based on the information they received from Thadiyantavide Nazeer, said to be the LeT’s South India commander, and Sarfaras Nawaz, the Oman-based fundraiser for the terror outfit. Both are in the custody of the Karnataka Police in Bangalore presently. The letter asked Madani to cooperate with the Bangalore Police for seeking some explanations in connection with the blasts in the garden city in 2008.

The Bangalore Police also handed over a letter to the Kerala Police seeking their assistance in the instance of non-cooperation from Madani. State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that his department would provide all assistance the Bangalore Police had requested. “They have given a report seeking assistance to the Superintendent of Police, Kollam. The Kerala Police would give them all necessary help,” he said.

The PDP chairman was presently in the last leg of his Kerala-wide Rashtra Suraksha Sandesh Yathra. It is said that he would appear before the Bangalore Police immediately after the conclusion of his Yathra but officials of the Kerala Police refused to comment on this report.

As per the notice, Madani and Sufiya should appear personally before Omkarayya, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, who was probing the blasts case. At the same time, a report from Bangalore said that Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, had made it clear that Sufiya would be questioned on the basis of the statements of Nazeer.

According to sources in the Karnataka and Kerala police forces, Nazeer and Nawaz have given statements about their close connections with Madani and his wife. The Bangalore Police wanted to question Madani particularly in the light of Nazeer’s reported admission that he was a PDP worker earlier. But Madani had denied this, saying Nazeer was too young to be associated with his party at that time.

Nawaz, who was arrested in Muscat and brought to Bangalore by officials of the Research and Analysis Wing early last year, had also told the police about their connections with Madani. He had told the police that he and Nazeer had visited Madani at his base at Anvarssery, Kollam.

The police had on December 17 arrested Madani’s wife Sufiya as the tenth accused in the case of burning a Tamil Nadu State bus at Kalamassery on the night of September 9, 2005, with the alleged intention of pressing the demand for release of Madani from the Coimbatore prison where he was lodged in connection with the serial blasts in that city. Nazeer was the first accused in the bus-burning case in which there were a total of 13 accused.

Sufiya was arrested after the Kerala High Court had rejected her anticipatory bail plea but the District and Sessions Court, Ernakulam granted bail to her four days later. Reports had said that the police had got telephone logs of conversations between Sufiya. There were also reports that Nazeer had stayed at Sufiya’s residence in Kochi and that he had held religious classes in the upstairs of a Purdah shop she had been running in Kochi. The Kalamassery case was now being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Meanwhile, the NIA submitted in the Special CKI Court-2 in Kochi that there had been no progress worth mentioning in the investigation of the Kalamassery bus-burning case as the documents regarding the case had been received from the Kerala Police only last week. The agency told the court that it needed more time to study the documents. The NIA made this submission when the court was considering the bail plea filed by Muhammad Nawas, sixth accused in the case.

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