Five-star spa therapy for Madani at taxpayers’ cost

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on June 12, 2011

Should the taxpayers bear the exorbitant cost of Ayurveda Parishkarana therapy at a five-star spa for a terror man who had allegedly sown brutal devastation on their lives and property through heinous acts of extremism? Unfortunately, that is exactly what the people of Karnataka have to do for Abdul Nasser Madani, key accused in the 2008 Bangalore bombings case.

By the time wheelchair-bound Madani completes his 28-day Ayurveda Pancha-karma Chikitsa at the deluxe suite of Soukya International Holistic Centre at Whitefield outside Bangalore city, where he was admitted on June 7, the taxpayers of Karnataka would have paid close to a million rupees to let the jihadi get rejuvenated in body and soul.

“Since the recommendation for his spa therapy had come from an authority no less than the Supreme Court of India on the basis of an earlier order of the Karnataka High Court and the State Police are doing all the arrangements, the common man cannot protest against it,” said Ajaya Kumar, a history teacher in Ernakulam.

“The Karnataka High Court had on February 11 ordered the police to provide whatever treatment and medical facility Madani required and that justifies the apex court’s observation. First, there is this question of whether the terrorist is entitled to such treatment. And even if he has that right, he should pay for it. Why should the people bear the cost?” he asked.

Madani, who moved to the Parappanna Agrahara Prison of Bangalore after his arrest on August 17 last year from his operational headquarters at Sasthamkotta in Kerala’s Kollam district, is said to have various ailments like diabetes, back problem, neuritis (burning sensation in the feet), acute spondylitis and related complaints.

Madani’s admission into the five-star spa, a facility sought after by the global elite, followed an order of the Supreme Court last month. The apex court had rejected the Karnataka Government’s argument that “The medical illness and ailments claimed by him are a smokescreen to come out on bail and engage in fresh conspiracies (for terror acts)”.

“Madani cannot be the only prisoner in India suffering from such health problems. Are all others getting such treatment?” asked a retired Kerala Police official. “The whole concept that Madani should get the best treatment available — despite the charges against him — originated with efforts of political leaders who cared for nothing but the Muslim vote-bank,” he said.

“As a result of such efforts, he had got panchakarma treatment earlier, establishing a trend,” the former cop said. Madani was then lodged in a prison in Coimbatore in connection with the 1998 serial blasts targeting LK Advani, in which 60 were killed and several injured. The Kerala Assembly had even passed a resolution unanimously in 2006 seeking his release.

Madani is undergoing his “rejuvenation therapy” at the Soukya suite under the watchful eyes of five policemen but officials in the Kerala Police say that their job would effectively be that of assisting him. In short, Madani would be enjoying a vacation at the luxurious spa, according to a Special Branch Police official who claims to have tailed him for long.

“After his release from the Coimbatore prison — where he spent more than nine years — on August 1, 2007, the Kerala Police had engaged three of their men to watch over him round-the-clock.

What one hears is that these policemen had become his trusted companions later,” said the SB official.

Doctors at Soukya now say that they can help Madani regain his health so perfectly that he might even stand up on his legs again after the 28-day therapy but reports from Bangalore, where he had allegedly sowed terror in association with his LeT companions, say that the people there are more interested in seeing him getting the punishment he deserves.

However, legal experts are of the opinion that the Bangalore bombings case is likely to drag on indefinitely considering its present progress. There are allegations that this is because the Karnataka Police is yet to gather clinching evidences against Madani and other accused but officials in Bangalore term such reports as false.

“If this is the case, they should act fast but cautiously. If they fail in that we could once again be seeing a free Madani. He was released in 2007 due to lack of evidences. I don’t think the people of Karnataka want to see that happening again,” said a Kochi-based IT professional, who was in the Garden City when the serial blasts occurred there on July 25, 2008.

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