Kozhikode Twin Blast – Terror accused turns approver

published on September 3, 2010

VR Jayaraj | KochiDaily Pioneer

The Special CBI Court – 2 (NIA court) in Kochi on Thursday permitted Shammi Feroze, seventh accused in the case pertaining to the 2006 twin blasts at Kozhikode, to turn approver. South India’s LeT commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer, who is also the prime accused in the Bangalore bombings case, is the first accused in this case.

The NIA, which was probing the blasts, did not oppose the plea of the accused for permission to turn approver. Judge S Vijayakumar approved Shammi’s plea on the conditions that he should not try to interact with the other accused and to destroy or manipulate evidences. The judge observed that Shammi’s turning approver could help in proving aspects that did not have direct evidences.

Shammi Feroze, who had fled to UAE after the twin explosions, was arrested by the NIA at the Kochi International Airport, Nedumbassery, upon his arrival from Abu Dhabi on March 19. Two other accused, Muhammad Azhar and KP Yusuf, are still hiding in the Gulf and efforts are on to bring them back to India.

Immediately after his arrest, Shammi had told the NIA and the court that he was prepared to reveal everything he knew about the terror act. He had also submitted a written application in the court praying for opportunity to turn approver. But the court had put it off saying it could be considered during the trial stage.

Shammi Feroze, hailing from Parappanangadi in the Muslim-majority Malappuram district, had told the NIA that he had no idea about the blast plot till he reached Kozhikode on a call from Nazeer, then known as Ummer Haji, on March 3, 2006, the day of the explosions. He said Nazeer had led him and other young men into a trap.

He admitted that he had informed the media offices about the blasts over phone as per the instructions given by Nazeer. In his confession, he had told the NIA that he had trembled when told by Nazeer about the plan to carry out the blasts at the Moffusil Bus Stand and the KSRTC station in Kozhikode.

Apart from Nazeer, Shammi, Azhar and KP Yusuf, the other accused in the case are Abdul Halim, Shafaz alias Shamsuddin, and Aboobacker Yusuf alias Chettippady Yusuf. Fourth accused Shafaz is a close relative and aide of Nazeer, who is also an accused in the Bangalore blasts case.

The NIA, which had filed the chargesheet in the case on August 2, had found that the accused had planned to attack vital Government installations as an act of revenge for denial of bail to the accused in case of the Marad (2) riots of 2003. It said the twin blasts were part of this revenge programme. Eight Hindus were hacked to death in Marad fishing village in Kozhikode district in May, 2003.

The accused in the case have been charged with waging war against the nation, criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder and disruption of communal harmony. The twin blasts were considered the first overt acts of Islamist terrorism in Kerala and doubts still linger that they were meant as a “dry run” for larger terror attacks.

The NIA had excluded from the list of accused Abdul Jaleel, whom the Kerala Police had named as accused earlier, for want of evidence. It also excluded Muhammad Fayaz, an LeT operative who was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kupwara, Kashmir in October, 2008.

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