CPM, Congress flayed for sparing Madani, wife

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on November 20, 2009

The CPI(M) in Kerala and the Opposition Congress received sharp criticisms on Friday for not listing PDP chairman and Islamist leader Abdul Nasser Madani and his wife Sufiya as accused in the terror case relating to the burning of a Tamil Nadu State bus at Kalamassery, off Kochi on September 9, 2005.

According to the list of 13 accused drawn up by the police the other day, Thadiyantavide Nazeer from Kannur, said to be the chief LeT operative in Kerala, was the main conspirator behind the incident. Earlier, Majeed Parampayi, arrested in another case, had reportedly told the police that it was Sufiya who had planned, funded and got executed the arson on the bus.

According to the statement of Majeed, who had visited Madani in the Coimbatore prison where he was lodged in connection with the case of the 1999 serial blasts, Sufiya planned the arson to deal a big blow to the Tamil Nadu authorities for torturing her husband in the prison. A court in Aluva had on April 1 last asked the police to investigate the allegations against Sufiya in this regard.

The Kerala unit of the BJP criticized both the CPI(M)-led Government and the Opposition Congress for allegedly ensuring that the names of Madani and wife did not figure in the list of the accused. Madani’s PDP was an ally of the CPI(M) in the April-May general elections and he had also supported the party in the recent Assembly by-elections. The PDP had supported the Congress-led UDF in the 2001 Assembly elections, after which the front grabbed power in the State with 100 seats of the total 140 in the House.

State BJP general secretaries MT Ramesh and AN Radhakrishnan unleashed a scathing attack against the CPI(M) and the Congress for being soft on Sufiya and her husband. While Ramesh wanted all the terror cases, including the one of bus-burning, to be probed by a Central agency, Radhakrishnan demanded inclusion of several CPI(M) leaders, including the Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, and Opposition Congress leader Oommen Chandy in the purview of the probe. Ramesh said Madani and Sufiya were spared owing to the internal political situation of the CPI(M).

“The Left and the Congress fronts have been competing against each other to protect and appease Madani and his wife even when it had become clear that they had roles in the bus-burning case,” Radhakirshnan said in a Press statement. He alleged that nine of the accused had stayed at Sufiya’s house in Kochi two days before the terror act. These persons included three of the four terrorists, who were later killed in an encounter with the security forces in Kashmir, the BJP leader charged.

According to the police, the conspiracy to burn the Tamil Nadu State bus was hatched at a lodge near the KSRTC bus stand in Kochi under the leadership of Nazeer, who was yet to be arrested in several cases relating to terror activities.

Meanwhile, reports from Kozhikode said that the police were preparing to once again interrogate Muhammad Abdul Halim, now in a prison there as third accused in the case of twin blasts at Kozhikode in 2006, to find out the details of the funding pattern of terrorists. He would be questioned on the basis of the statement given to the police by Muhammad Navaz of Kannur, arrested the other day.

The Police learned that Nawaz had visited top terror man Nazeer and Halim several times and had handed over more than Rs 40 lakh in three installments to Nazeer. The police were of the view that this money could have been used for the purpose of recruiting young men into the terror network of Indian Mujahiddeen and the LeT.

The police also learned that Nazeer had given specific instructions to all who had participated in the bus-burning act that the name of Nawaz should not be revealed under any circumstances. The assumption of the police was that Nazeer could have been apprehending that the sources of funds would come to light if Nawaz’s identity was revealed.

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