Madani: Kerala raises formality issue again

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on September 3, 2010

Kerala’s Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose on Friday said that the Karnataka Police had not so far formally informed him or the force about their plan to question the four former police guards of Abdul Nasser Madani.

He said that the Kerala Police would give all assistance to their Karnataka counterparts if they sought it. Kerala had raised a similar argument last month when the Karnataka Police reached Kollam to arrest Madani, the 31st accused in the Bangalore blasts case, causing a long delay in executing the warrant against him.

The Kerala Police and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had said that they could not do anything to help Karnataka arrest Madani unless and until a formal requested came from competent authorities. Though Bangalore Police officials had arrived in Kollam on August 10, Madani could be arrested only on August 17, after Karnataka Home Minister VS Acharya talked with the Kerala authorities.

Speaking to newsmen in Kochi on Friday, DGP Punnoose said that he was aware that the Karnataka Police had asked Kerala Police constable Shajahan, who was on security duty for Madani, to appear for questioning. “But the Karnataka authorities have not informed me of anything about this so far. If they make a request, we will take the necessary action,” he said.

Four constables from the Kerala Police had been assigned to provide security for Madani, who was put under B-Category security after his release from a Coimbatore prison on August 1, 2007. The Karnataka Police wanted to question these policemen in connection with Madani’s reported visit in 2008 to Coorg where he had allegedly taken part in the conspiracy to carry out blasts in Bangalore.

The Karnataka Police had been trying to get these four policemen – Shajahan, Nabeel, Basheer and Sajeev – for the past four months in vain. They particularly wanted to question Shajahan, who was reported to have been close to Madani personally. They had sent a letter to Shajahan on July 6 regarding this. However, he said h e had not been given permission to go to Bangalore.

According to the Karnataka Police, the statements of these policemen were vital to strengthen their conclusion on Madani’s visit to Coorg, where he had allegedly participated in the conspiracy for the blasts along with LeT’s South India commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer, prime accused in the case, at an estate.

They have already completed the evidence-gathering exercise in Coorg by taking Madani there. Madani has said that the details of all his travels within and outside Kerala are with the Kerala Police, but the Karnataka Police suspect that there could be gaps in that log.

DGP Punnoose also said that the police were following up the finding that Nazeer had stayed at Periyar Valley, a facility of Islamist outfit Popular Front of India, whose activists were allegedly behind the Taliban-model attack on a college professor at Muvattupuzha. The police had found out form the accused in the case that Nazeer had stayed at Periyar Valley.

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