Madni Arrest – The drama continues..

published on August 14, 2010

Kerala cops fail to arrest Madani

VR Jayaraj | Kollam – Daily Pioneer

The CPI(M)-controlled Kerala Police on Saturday failed to arrest Islamist Abdul Nasser Madani, 31st accused in the Bangalore bombings case, despite huge police deployment and imposition of prohibitory orders. The day-long drama enacted by the police ended in a widely expected anti-climax with top police sources informing by late evening that the arrest might not take place before Sunday.

On a day charged with orchestrated scenes of dramatic police activity at Anvarssery, Madani’s operational base in Kerala’s Kollam district, weak enforcement of prohibitory orders in the area, copycats’ stone-pelting reminding one of the recent unrest in Kashmir, teargas-lobbing and appeals by Islamists to the people for sympathy, all that the police succeeded in was to boost Madani’s image of a wronged hero.

As the Karnataka Police team waited impatiently at the office of the Superintendent of Police, Kollam for the call to execute the court’s non-bailable warrant against Madani, charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Kerala Police effectively allowed the Islamist leader use the developments to his advantage.

Despite the fact that the Karnataka Police officials had reached Kollam as early as on Tuesday, Madani was given the opportunity to file a bail plea in the Supreme Court. Madani and his men still believe that this plea could help him escape arrest. The warrant against Madani would expire on Tuesday. Critics alleged that this could be the first time the police were discussing the procedures of arrest with the accused.

That the arrest might not take pl ace on Saturday was clear by late afternoon when the police seemed to be waiting for the sun to set to carry out the unavoidable action. Sources in the Kerala Police said towards late evening that the arrest might not take place as it was difficult to transport Madani to Karnataka during the night due to security concerns. “But I cannot say anything for sure,” said an official.

The drama began at mid-morning Saturday with Kollam District Collector A Shajahan declaring prohibitory orders in the panchayath areas of Sasthamkotta, where Anvarssery was situated, and Mainagapally. By noon, police personnel in riot gear reached in their hundreds, led by Harshita Attaluri, Superintendent of Police, Kollam, at Anvarssery where Madani-supporters had gathered with the determination to resist any attempt to arrest him.

The drama was given a cunning touch as a story spread that the prohibitory orders were imposed on the basis of a secret police report that the Yuva Morcha was planning a surprise march to Anvarssery. However, the State Yuva Morcha and BJP leaderships immediately rejected the allegation, saying the rumour was perhaps the result of the evil designs of interested parties.

All this while, slogan-shouting against the Kerala Police and Karnataka Government went on inside Anvarssery campus, where a large number of PDP workers and Madani-followers were staying put despite the prohibitory orders. By early evening, Madani informed some religious leaders who visited him – obviously as per a plan of the Kerala Police – that he was prepared for arrest. He also assured them that there would be no law-and-order problems at Anvarssery from the part of the PDP workers.

The drama reached a feverish pitch as the time for the evening Namaz approached. An effort to create an atmosphere of gloom and religious fervour was obvious in the camp with women and children presenting themselves in the courtyard and PDP activists squatting all over wearing disappointment on their faces.

Madani, who was released on August 1, 2007 from a nine-year-long captivity in a Coimbatore prison in connection with the serial blasts in that city, was named an accused in the Bangalore bombings case on the basis of the revelations of LeT commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer, prime accused in the case. His arrest became unavoidable after the Fast Track Session Court, Bangalore and the Karnataka High Court rejected his pleas for anticipatory bail.

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