Kozhikode blasts – NIA wants Media out of Trial proceedings

published on December 2, 2010

Kozhikode blasts: NIA wants in-camera trial
VR Jayaraj | Kochi – The Pioneer

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to request the Special CBI Court (2) of Kochi, which is handling the NIA-probed cases in Kerala, to hold in-camera trial on the Kozhikode twin blasts case in which LeT’s South India commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer and his associates are the prime accused.

The NIA wants the trial proceedings to be in-camera due to concerns about the security of the accused and witnesses in the case. The agency had earlier told the Special CBI Court about threats received by some witnesses in the Kalamassery bus-burning case which it was probing.

The agency also wants the media to be kept out of the trial proceedings. Nazeer and his accomplice Shafaz had caused embarrassment to the NIA some months ago when they interacted freely with the media as they were brought to the court in Kochi.

According to sources, the NIA will request for in-cameral trial proceedings also in the other terror cases which it is investigating in Kerala. Apart from the Kozhikode twin blasts and the Kalamassery bus-burning, the NIA is also probing four other cases which include the recruitment of Kerala youths into LeT.

The accused in the twin blasts case, including Nazeer and Shafaz, were brought to the NIA court on Thursday but the chargesheet could not be read out to them as one of the accused, Abdul Halim, had changed his counsel. The court posted the case to December 14 when the chargesheet would be read out.

The special court on late Thursday afternoon permitted the Karnataka Police to take Nazeer and Shafaz from the Central Prison at Viyyur, Thrissur to Bangalore.
The Karnataka Police wanted them in Bangalore in connection with the 2008 bombings case in which both of them are accused.

According to the NIA (and also the Kerala Police), Nazeer and his associated carried out bomb blasts at two bus stations in Kozhikode city on March 3, 2006. The agency is also probing the case of burning of a Tamil Nadu state bus on September 9, 2005 in which Madani’s wife Sufiya is tenth accused. In both the cases, Nazeer is the prime accused.

The NIA is also probing the case of recruitment of young Malayalees into LeT for training in Kashmir. The plot came to light after four Malayalee militants were killed in Lolab valley in Kupwara, Kashmir in October, 2008 in an encounter with security forces. LeT’s India operations chief and Pak national “Wali” Abdul Rehman had been named as 24th accused in this case.

The other cases the agency is probing in Kerala include the one related to the secret meeting SIMI had held at Panayikkulam near Kochi on August 15, 2006, which was seen as the first meeting to conspire for several terror acts. It is also investigating the case of the SIMI training camp held at Vagamon, Idukki in December, 2007 which was said to be the practical spring-board for the Bangalore blasts and other terror attacks.

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