Nazeer, master terror-man from Kerala

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on December 2, 2009

The Kerala Police is still uncertain as to when it will be able to interrogate Thadiyantavide Nazeer of Kannur, the South India commander of LeT whose arrest on the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya was confirmed by Union Home Secretary GK Pillai in Delhi on Wednesday. Nazeer, the chief recruiter of youths into LeT, is wanted in several terror cases by the Anti-Terror Squad and the Joint Investigation Team of the Kerala Police.

The police in Kerala believe that they can get an opportunity to question him soon using the influence the senior officials have on former Kerala DGP Raman Srivastava, who is now the Director General of BSF, in whose custody he is presently. Tomin J Thachankery, Inspector General of Police (Kannur region) informed that the police had already taken measures to get access to Nazeer.

The police departments of several other states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh also want to lay their hands on Nazeer as he is said to be the chief planner of several LeT and Indian Mujahiddin-sponsored blasts in cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Nazeer is key accused in almost all the major terror cases in Kerala, which include, the burning of a Tamil Nadu State bus at Kalamassery off Kochi in 2005, the 2006 twin blasts in Kozhikode, the recruitment of youths into the terror network and the blast at the district collectorate, Ernbakulam this year. Though Nazeer had not been keeping any connections with his home in Kannur for the past six years, he had disappeared totally following the launch of intense investigation in Kerala into the terror network after the killing of four Malayalee militants in Kashmir in October, 2008.

According to Home Secretary Pillai, Nazeer and his relative and terror operative Shafaz were arrested on Wednesday morning but they had been taken into custody as early as on November 6 by the Rapid Action Battalion of Bangladesh in a raid on the Jami’at’ Ulum Madrasa in Chittagong. However, the Indian authorities had been hesitating to confirm such reports.

According to investigators, Nazeer had gone to Bangladesh after the intensification of terror-hunt in Kerala and elsewhere with the objective of moving on to Karachi. It is said that he had gone to Karachi but had returned to Dhaka to coordinate the LeT and Huji Activities there. Nazeer, a close disciple of top terror man CMA Basheer from Aluva, was the chief coordinator of all terror operation of the LeT in South India, especially in Kerala, according to the police. Basheer is now believed to be in hiding somewhere in the Gulf.

According to the Kerala Police, Nazeer was the chief conspirator behind the burning of the Tamil Nadu bus in Kalamassery on September 9, 2005, the objective of which was to deal a blow to the TN authorities for torturing Islamist leader Abdul Nasser Madani in the Coimbatore prison when he was lodged there in connection with the case of serial blasts in that city that targeted LK Advani.

Muhammad Abdul Halim, third accused in the case of twin blasts in Kozhikode on March 3, 2006, had told the police that the explosions were engineered and got executed by none other than Nazeer. The assumption of the police is that the comparatively low-intensity twin blasts in Kozhikode were dry runs carried out in preparation for the later strikes that took place in Bangalore and elsewhere.

The family of Nazeer in Kannur has already made it clear that they have no connections with him. “We are happy that he has been arrested” was how Majeed, Nazeer’s father, reacted when news first came that he had been arrested in Bangladesh. “He should be punished if he has committed these crimes,” said Majeed, who abandoned his job and in the Gulf to settle down in Kannur after controversies began to spread about Nazeer.

Nazeer is the eldest of the six children of Majeed and Khadeeja, who are now living along with the family of their daughter Shahans at the Thadiyantavide house in Kannur. The four other brothers are working abroad. According to Majeed, Nazeer, now 32, had been a good boy when he was at school.

The LeT commander had entered the world of terror through Abdul Nasser Madani’s erstwhile militant outfit Islamic Sewak Sangh ISS), and when it was banned post-Ayodhya, he became part of the PDP, the metamorphosed form of ISS. His terror life began at the age of 17, after his studies in air-conditioner mechanism, when he became an accused in a murder case. Later, he was listed as an accused in the conspiracy to assassinate former chief minister EK Nayanar.

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