Kerala’s ‘rights crusaders’ protest denial of bail to Madani

via published on January 3, 2012

Several rights activists in Kerala on Tuesday protested against the denial of bail to Bangalore bombings-accused Abdul Nasser Madani by the Supreme Court as suspicions arose that there was perhaps an effort to build up a new public relations effort in favour of the Islamist leader.

Former Left MP Sebastian Paul unleashed harsh criticisms against the Supreme Court for denying bail to Madani. “If the Supreme Court has denied bail to Madani, that decision is cruel. My response is that the apex court has lost its heart,” he said, adding that the court’s observation that even wheel chair-bound people could indulge in conspiracy was uncalled for.

Hameed Chennamangaloor, known as a thinker with strong anti-Islamist positions, termed the court’s decision as unjustifiable. He said such judicial decisions could lend a sense of credibility to the complaints of extremists while senior journalist and rights activist BRP Bhaskar termed the court ruling as a reflection of the general perspective prevalent in the present Indian society.

However, security experts with experience in the field of Intelligence said that they were apprehensive that a new public relations buildup was perhaps happening in Kerala in favour of Madani by projecting him as a victim of police-state conspiracy and judicial activism.

A former IB official said that this suspicion gathered credibility in the context of the letters written recently by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan seeking the best possible medical assistance for Madani in Bangalore and fast-tracking of the trial proceedings in the Bangalore bombings case.

“Similar efforts had been made by politicians back in 2006 when Madani was in detention in a Coimbatore prison in connection with the 1998 serial blasts case,” said the former Intelligence official. “It is not perhaps wrong to infer that a similar situation is coming up again,” he said. Madani has been lodged in a Bangalore prison since his arrest from Kollam on August 17, 2010.

In March, 2006, the Kerala Assembly had passed a resolution unanimously demanding Madani’s release from the Coimbatore prison on humanitarian grounds. He was released on August 1, 2007 after his acquittal by the court and even now there are people who allege that consecutive governments in Kerala had failed to provide the Tamil Nadu Police with the sufficient evidence.

Former State BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai said that it was not for the rights workers to judge the court’s decision to deny bail to Madani in a case of terror act. “There is no meaning in criticizing the denial of bail when there are several detainees awaiting trial in prisons in Kerala itself,” he said.

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