Bus-burning: Probe against Madani’s wife still on

via PNS | Kochi published on November 22, 2009

Close on the heels of criticisms from organizations like the BJP that the CPI(M)-led Government had deliberately exonerated Islamist leader and PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani and his wife Sufiya in the case of the burning of a Tamil Nadu State bus near Kochi in 2009, the police have started efforts to collect evidences against Sufiya in the case.

The list of 13 accused persons, drawn up by the police last week, had not included the name Sufiya despite the reported statement by Majeed Parampayi, arrested in another case, that she had planned, funded and got executed the terror act of burning the bus. According to the police, the chief conspirator behind the incident was Thadiyantavide Nazeer of Kannur, said to be the chief commander of LeT in South India.

The police are now collecting evidences against Sufiya reportedly on the basis of the statement by Majeed Paramapayi and some others. According to the statement by Majeed, Sufiya had engineered the torching of the Tamil Nadu bus to give a blow to the authorities there for torturing her husband at the prison in Coimbatore where he was lodged in connection with the serial blasts case of 1999. The bus was torched on the night of September 9, 2005 at Kalamaseery, some 13 km north of Kochi.

Asked about the criticisms from certain organizations that Madani and Sufi were spared in the case, a senior police official said the case file had not yet been closed. “That a list of accused has been drawn up does not mean the probe has ended. I cannot say anything about the progress of the probe but the police will ensure that all culprits are caught,” he said without referring directly to Sufiya or Madani.

The special team probing the Kalamassery incident has also decided to make their investigation extensive on the basis of the statements by those who had already been arrested. The police have got clear indications that some of those involved in the terror act had got help from “higher leaders”. Though the police are claiming openly that Nazeer had planned the act, the statements they have got are reportedly suggesting that the actual planners were some top leaders.

However, the main obstacle to the progress of the probe is that a Governmental clearance is necessary for taking it ahead. There were criticisms that the LDF Government was not acting willfully in the matter as PDP, which had stood by the CPI(M) in the last general elections, was still an ally of that party.

Meanwhile, reports said that the police had received clues suggesting that Nawaz, third accused in the bus-burning case and the main agent of hawala money meant for terror acts in the State, had handed over huge sums to some textile businessmen in Coimbatore, who had close connections with Islamist outfit Al Umma. But the police were yet to question them as they had to get more evidences against them.

The police are also on the hot trail of Nasser aka Kummayam Nasser of Pookkattupadi, Ernakulam in connection with the bus-burning case. The police suspect that Nasser had been directly involved in the terror act and had also helped Abdul Jabbar of Malappuram district, who had escaped an encounter with the security forces in Kupwara, Kashmir in October 2008, to go into hiding.

The police have also learnt that Nazeer had tried to avoid Nasser’s name from getting into the list of accused in the bus-burning case and it is said that the reason for this was nothing but their close terror-based relationship. Nasser’s name had figured in the list of those who had visited Madani in the prison in Coimbatore. The police have received information that Nasser was in the gang that had followed the bus on motor-cycles before hijacking it.

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