Kerala CM brazens it out, massages Madani again

via Pioneer News Service | Thiruvananthapuram published on October 19, 2006

Undeterred by criticism for going soft on a suspected terrorist believed to have masterminded the February 14, 1998 serial bombings in Coimbatore that killed 58 persons and left 250 injured, Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan on Wednesday reiterated his resolve to help Abdul Nasser Madani, lodged in a Tamil Nadu jail, every which way.



Achuthanandan’s comments followed an appeal by Muslim League MLA and former Industries Minister VK Ibrahim Kunju that the State Government should arrange for People’s Democratic Party chairman ICS Abdul Nasser Madani’s parole during Ramzan.


Madani, who is facing trial along with other Islamists for the Coimbatore bombings minutes before BJP leader LK Advani’s scheduled public rally, is currently in Coimbatore Central Jail. His several petitions for bail have been rejected by the courts, including the Supreme Court.


Replying to Kunju, Achuthanandan said, “After we came to power, I met the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and ensured that Madani got treatment. Both allopathic and Ayurveda doctors treated him, and his wife was also allowed to be present there with him.”


Soon after coming to power, the CPI(M)-led LDF Government had sent Ayurvedic masseurs to Coimbatore Central Jail where they treated Madani to an elaborate massage. His wife, Sufia, who had tried to smuggle a mobile phone into the jail under the pretext of meeting him in December 2003 and was slapped with a criminal case, was also allowed to visit Madani in contravention of rules and procedures.


“Our Government will continue its efforts to get him further proper treatment,” Achuthanandan said. It means masseurs will again be pressed into service to massage Madani in jail, apart from other ‘health facilities’.


On March 15, the Kerala Assembly, while the Congress-led UDF was still in power, had passed a resolution unanimously urging the Union Government to grant parole to Madani. The CPI(M) had contributed to the drafting of the resolution, insisting that the Islamist must be set free forthwith.


The LDF, especially the CPI(M), swept to power in the April Assembly election by striking an unprecedented alliance with radical Islamist organisations. Among the various promises the Left made was its pledge to secure Madani’s freedom.




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