Madani’s arrest imminent

via PNS | Kochi published on June 27, 2010

In spite of the alleged efforts by the Kerala Home Ministry and a section of the ruling CPI(M) to derail the terror case probes, the Karnataka Police are said to be in the final stages of their preparation to arrest Islamist leader and PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani, 31st accused in the 2008 Bangalore bombings case. He could be arrested any moment, sources in Bangalore said.

Bangalore Police’s top officials rejected criticisms that they had delayed the arrest of Madani against whom the court had issued a non-bailable warrant as early as on June 15. They said the investigating officers had to make their preparations and also see whether he would get an anticipatory bail, the application for which was to come up in the court on Tuesday. “That doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be arrested,” said a source in Bangalore.

Bangalore City Police Commissioner Shankar M Bidri had the other day confirmed that the Kerala Police had already been requested for help in arresting Madani. He also brushed aside the arguments that the denial by prime accused Thadiyantavide Nazeer, LeT’s South India commander, to the media of having deposed against Madani could cause legal problems. Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had said last week that there would not be any law and order problems if Madani was arrested.

Sources indicated that the Karnataka Police were waiting for the decision of the Fast Track Court (5) of Bangalore on Madani’s anticipatory bail plea for arresting him. “Judicial procedures should be respected,” said the source. The deadline given to the police by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bangalore, for production of Madani would expire on July 6.

Officials of the Karnataka Police said that they had got faultless statements of other accused and witnesses against Madani in the bombings case. They also said they had collected evidences like details of telephonic conversations between Nazeer and Madani. His wife Sufiya herself has been listed as a witness against him in the case as Nazeer had contacted her over the phone several times in his bid to talk to her husband after the bombings were carried out.

Madani is currently camping at his operational headquarters at Anvarssery in Kerala’s Kollam district surrounded by hundreds of PDP workers and supporters, determined to resist any effort of the Karnataka Police to arrest him. However, Madani himself has already announced that he would surrender before the court if his application for bail is rejected. Officials of the Karnataka Police have been monitoring the situation at Anvarssery regularly.

Bidri protested strongly against the Kerala Police’s act of parading Nazeer and his aide and co-accused Shafaz in the public without masks and allowing them to freely interact with the media. “They were sent to jail and not to a zoo. A jail has certain norms for keeping the accused,” Bidri said in Bangalore, adding that Nazeer’s statements the outside the court had no legal validity. “Statements by accused (in public) are not admissible in the court either for prosecution or for defence purpose,” he said.

In the face of the allegations that the Kerala Police had deliberately brought Nazeer out without mask with the intention of derailing the NIA probe into the Kozhikode twin blasts, the Kerala Home Minister said on Sunday that the NIA had not formally taken up the matter with the State Government. If they did, the matter would be looked into, he said.

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