Kerala Home Ministry’s attempts to derail Terrorism related cases

published on June 26, 2010

Terror probe: Misuse of Home suspected

VR Jayaraj | Kochi

Even as the Union Home Ministry has launched an investigation into the Qatar visit of senior Kerala IGP Tomin J Thachankery IPS, reportedly for negotiations with suspected terror operatives, allegations have come up that the State Home Department had been misused for derailing the Karnataka Police’s probe into the Bangalore bombings of 2008.

The Central Intelligence Bureau thinks that the misuse of the Kerala Home Department and the State police had begun just after the arrest of LeT’s South India commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer last November-end. The IB’s assumption is that certain police officials had tried to derail the probe into the Bangalore blasts case and the NIA investigation into the several terror cases in Kerala on instructions from certain political leaders.

The bureau has got indications that Thachankery’s controversial visit to Bangalore in the beginning to Bangalore immediately after Nazeer and his aide Shafaz were brought there from Shillong, his alleged negotiations with terror suspects in Qatar and the presentation before media of the two terror men without masks in Kannur and Kochi were part of a plan to derail the terror probes. Sources said that these efforts had begun after Islamist leader Abdul Nasser Madani came into the focus of the probes.

According to sources, the Kerala Police personnel would not have acted the way they had without authorization and instructions from “very high political levels”. They said the Karnataka Police had been keeping the details of the probe into the Bangalore bombings hidden from the Kerala police despite the fact that most of the perpetrators were Malayalees, due to doubts of misuse of the State Home Department.

The IB, NIA and the Karnataka Police are of the opinion that certain top officials of the Kerala Police had used its Intelligence wing to get the probe details leaked from Bangalore where Nazeer was lodged. The Karnataka Police had got indications that Intelligence men from the Kerala Police could have been camping in Bangalore to know the progress of interrogations of Nazeer and Shafaz, said an official.

It is said that Thachankery’s visit to Bangalore without the clearance from the Chief Minister could have connections with this plan. The Chief Minister had objected to the top cop’s trip but his Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in a sense his boss in the CPI(M) due to his membership in the Politbureau, outwitted him by saying that he had cleared Thachankery for that.

“Some top political leaders and police officials were obviously worried that Nazeer’s interrogation could lead the Karnataka Police to Madani. They wanted to avoid this,” said a retired IB official. “But when the Karnataka Police got the certain hints about this, they decided to keep the Kerala Police entirely in the dark,” he said.

The appearance of videos and pictures of Nazeer and Shafaz, accused in the case of the 2006 twin blasts of Kozhikode, has already made the identification parade the NIA had planned for the latter legally meaningless. Intelligence officials said this dev elopement could cause a terrible setback to the NIA’s case when it reached for trials in the

The NIA had carried out all necessary preparations for the identification parade, and the person, from whose telephone booth Shafaz and Shammi Feroze, another accused, had informed the Press that bombs had been planted at two sites in Kozhikode, from the Gulf for this. Shammi Feroze’s pictures also had appeared in the media but this would not be a problem as he has already given his written admission of involvement to the NIA and the court in a bid to turn approver.

The sleuths think that Thachankery’s activities were central to the plan to derail the terror case investigations and to save Madani. They are now in the process of collecting all available details of Thachankery’s activities like his controversial Gulf trips, his visit to Bangalore, telephone records, etc. “Some may allege that this is a witch-hunt. But terror case investigations can sometimes be stranger than fiction,” said the retired sleuth.

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