Coimbatore Blasts in Chronological order

via B R Haran published on October 6, 2009

Compassionate’ government; perilous state; pathetic people-2

History of Coimbatore Blasts in Chronological order

Events during DMK regime (1996 to 2001)
January 31, 1998: State Intelligence informed government of a possible terror attack in the state.
February 12, 1998: State Intelligence confirmed previous reports of possible terror attack, especially during BJP leader Advani’s election campaign in Coimbatore.
February 14, 1998: Between 3.50 pm and 4.30 pm, 13 bombs exploded in 11 different places killing 45 persons, including 10 women and one child. Ten more persons were killed in the next few days, taking the total official tally to 59 casualties and over 200 maimed.
February 15, 1998: Six ‘Al-Umma’ cadres died when bombs exploded following a police raid on their hideout.
February 17, 1998: Four ‘Al Umma’ men died following an accidental blast in their hideout in Al-Ameen colony.
As far as the serial blasts are concerned, the bombs were placed in bullock carts, fruit carts, two wheelers, bicycle boxes, containers, etc along the route from the airport to the venue of the meeting, and near the railway station. The Army, police and NSG diffused several bombs, which failed to detonate. A car laden with 70 Kg of explosives was found abandoned in Lokmanya Tilak Street, R.S. Puram, just behind the famous Annapoorna Hotel; it took 4 days of meticulous operations to dismantle the device.
On the same day of the serial blasts, that is 14 February 1998, the state government banned ‘Al-Umma’ and ‘Jihad Committee,’ a move that came under severe criticism by the people.
In the consequent combing operation in Coimbatore city, police seized large quantities of gelatin sticks, petrol bombs, pipe bombs, detonators, knives, swords, pick axes and sickles, apart from batteries, wires etc. Al-Umma chief SA Basha with 12 accomplices and 100-odd cadres belonging to Al-Umma, TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagam) and Jihad Committee were arrested and lodged in Coimbatore Central Prison.
When the media went to Kottamedu area to interview the local people, particularly the womenfolk, a woman allegedly said she had given her son to Allah and that she didn’t want to add anything more. Media sources said the burial of dead militants was video-graphed and sent to Islamic countries abroad to raise funds for future jihad.
The People’s Democratic Party (formerly Islamic Seva Sangh) chief Abdul Nassar Madhani from Kerala was also arrested and lodged in Coimbatore prison. The then Left Front government led by EK Nayanar handed him over to the Tamil Nadu police.


March 2, 1998: Former Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa moved the Madras high court to direct the CBI to investigate the serial bomb blasts and other blasts preceding it in Tamil Nadu.
September 28, 1998: Preliminary chargesheets were filed in the Coimbatore blasts case.
May 5, 1999: Final chargesheets were filed in the Coimbatore blasts case.
April 2000: Special Courts constituted for blast cases.
May 2000: Justice Gokulakrsihnan, who was inquiring into the communal violence and police firing between Nov-Dec 1997, submitted his commission’s reports.
Events during AIADMK regime (2001 to 2006)
October 2001: Charges framed against accused in Coimbatore bomb blasts case
March 2002: Examination of witnesses began in Coimbatore bomb blasts case.
In the meantime, several attempts were made to bail out Madhani, but in vain. The Jayalalithaa government took a tough stand in this case and when the then Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Munir Hoda, attempted to help bail out Madhani without the knowledge of CM Jayalalithaa, he was suspended for his arrogant action.
June 2, 2005: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met Madhani’s wife and father at their residence and assured steps for the immediate release of Madhani on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.  
March 14 2006: The Kerala Assembly unanimously passed a shocking unprecedented resolution seeking release of Madhani on humanitarian grounds.  
Events during DMK regime (since 2006)
When the DMK came back to power in May 2006, along with the support of TMMK as its ally, Munir Hoda was reinstated as the Chief Minister’s Personal Secretary.
TMMK president Jawahirullah requested the release of the Coimbatore blast accused on ‘humanitarian’ grounds, in an interview in SUN TV (‘Nerukku Ner’ – ‘One on One’ program), immediately after the formation of DMK government.
Kerala Chief Minister Achutanandan sent his ministers to Coimbatore prison to meet Madhani to extend moral support and assure steps being taken for his release.
June 10, 2006: Kerala Chief Minister Achutanandan himself came and met his Tamil Nadu counterpart Karunanidhi to secure release of Abdul Nassar Madhani. Though Karunanidhi refused to release Madhani, he arranged for an ‘Ayurvedic Spa’ and preferential treatment in the name of healthcare exclusively for Madhani inside the prison.
June 2006: Arguments and hearings started in Coimbatore bomb blasts case
April 2007: Arguments in Coimbatore blasts case completed after examination of 1300 witnesses out of 2345.
Even before the arguments started, organizations like TMMK, DK (Dravidar Kazhagam) MNP (Maritha Neethi Paasarai), and VCK (Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi) put pressure on CM Karunanidhi and demanded bail for the 100-odd prisoners. The pressure forced the prosecution to conduct the arguments in a haphazard, half-baked and half-hearted manner.
August 1, 2007: Justice Uthirapathy pronounced the verdict. Abdul Nassar Madhani was acquitted (for want of damming evidence), to the shock of blast victims, their families and all right thinking people. Basha, Ansari and 158 others were found guilty. Seven others were acquitted along with Madhani.
Abdul Nassar Madhani was given a hero’s welcome in Thiruvananthapuram. Both the UDF and LDF vied for credit for his acquittal. While the Communists as the ruling dispensation could join the festivities at the felicitation function, Congressmen could not join as they were the opposition. Madhani assured his support to the LDF government. As Kerala politicians shamelessly painted him as a Good Samaritan, Madhani tried to project a new moderate image. He claimed he had never been a terrorist (!) and his future plan was to work for the welfare of Dalits & Muslims. He clarified that he would not sue the TN government for detaining him in prison for nine long years, but warned that he would take up the case again if Tamil Nadu went for an appeal.
August / September 2007: Individual Sentences pronounced
158 terrorists have been convicted; 69 on major charges like criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, murder and promoting hatred between two communities. 88 terrorists were awarded imprisonment ranging from 3 years to 9 years; 43 were awarded life imprisonment; 15 were given 13 years rigorous imprisonment; 10 were given 10 years rigorous imprisonment and 2 were given 7 years rigorous imprisonment. Riaz-ur-Rehman, who turned approver, was acquitted.  
October 24, 2007: Sentences for the main convicts: Syed Ahmad Basha, chief of Al Umma, was given a life sentence. Al Umma general secretary, Mohammed Ansari was sentenced to two life terms that would run concurrently, while propaganda secretary Mohammad Auzir was awarded four life terms. Another member of the organisation Tajuddin was also sentenced to life imprisonment. All of them had served nine years in jail at the time of sentencing.
Important points to note in regard to Coimbatore case
The DMK government ‘obviously’ refrained from appealing against the acquittal of mastermind Madhani, showing scant regard for the poor and innocent Tamil-Hindu victims and their families.

When their Kerala counterparts went berserk over Madhani’s release, the Communists and Congressmen of Tamil Nadu maintained deadly silence on the court verdict in general and Madhani’s release in particular. Even the AIADMK, which did comparatively well in crushing Islamic terrorism and refusing to be lenient on Madhani when in power, was conspicuous by its silence on the verdict.

No ‘Tamil’ political leader came out with a clear statement on the Coimbatore blasts verdict, to the dismay and disappointment of Tamils. Worse was the statement of Nedumaran, leader of the so-called Tamil Nationalist Movement, who demanded ‘compensation’ for Madhani.

Most unfortunately, the BJP, after some initial noises, went quiet. It didn’t bother to go for an appeal against Madhani’s acquittal and didn’t put pressure on the DMK government either. Probably it thought of future alliances with DMK!

The poor victims were left on their own. Four injured persons filed a revision petition, and Velliangiri, father of a victim, filed a case in the Madras High Court on 18 July 2008 against the release of Madhani; the same was admitted by Justice K Mohan Ram.   
March 28 1998: Madura College Prof. KR Paramasivam, also state vice president of ABVP, was murdered by Islamic terrorists, Ibrahim, ‘Police’ Fakrudin, Ibrahim Shah, Noorudin and Shahul Hameed
February 2, 1999: Dr. P.V. Sridhar, president, Tiruchi unit of the BJP, murdered by Islamic terrorists
July 12, 2003: Wanted terrorist Sheikh Dawood Mustafa, who escaped from judicial custody in September 1997 arrested by TN special police and CBI in Delhi
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Yet another jihadi outfit ‘Manitha Neethi Pasarai’ (MNP) was started in 2004 to give a new lease of life to the banned Al Umma.
June 21, 2005: Hindu Makkal Katchi state vice president R Kalidas murdered in Madurai. Investigation led to the arrest of Mannar Moideen (30), Ibrahim Shah (25), Mohammad Anis (25), Moideenbir (26), Hakeem alias Karuvayan (26) and Sheik Allaudin (29).

(To be continued…)

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