Nazeer’s media interaction irks NIA

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on June 24, 2010

Irked by the interaction of LeT’s South India commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer with the media, the National Investigation Agency on Thursday asked the Special CBI Court-2, Kochi for orders to strengthen security for the accused in terror cases. The agency also expressed serious concern over the appearance of images of Nazeer and a co-accused without masks in the media.

While coming out of the court on Wednesday, Nazeer, prime accused in the Bangalore bombings case, had told the waiting mediamen that he had not given any statement against PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani, 31st accused. This had caused huge embarrassment to the NIA and other agencies as the Karnataka Police had named Madani as an accused in the case on the basis of the statement of Nazeer.

This was the second time Nazeer and his relative, aide and terror associate Shafaz interacting with the media without wearing masks. The terror man had last week told the media in Kannur that they had done nothing that went against their religious beliefs. On Wednesday, Nazeer said that a lot of hypocritical campaigns were going on in the media (against him, Madani and others).

The NIA asked the court to step up security for the accused in the terror cases in view of the embarrassing interaction of Nazeer with the media. It wanted the court to order heightened security for such persons in the prisons also. The agency also requested the court to issue orders to impose strict control for visitors for the terror accused in the prisons.

The requests were made to the court when the agency brought Muhammad Abdul Halim and Shammi Feroze, respectively fifth and seventh accused in the Kozhikode twin blasts case, for extending their remand period. Though the court gave no special orders, the NIA’s protests had immediate effect. Halim and Feroze were taken back to the prison under tight security and without letting mediamen reach anywhere near the vehicle that carried them.

Meanwhile, Shammi Feroze, hailing from Chettippady, Parappanangadi in Muslim-majority Malappuram district, requested the special court an opportunity to turn approver, saying that he still stood by his earlier confession. The NIA had arrested Feroze, who had been working in the Gulf, from the Kochi International Airport immediately after his arrival from Abu Dhabi on March 19.

Feroze also requested the court for transfer from the Central Prison in Viyyur, Thrissur where Nazeer and co-accused Shafaz were lodged. The court accepted the plea and issued orders for his transfer to the Sub-Jail, Kozhikode. Upon production in the court on March 20, Feroze had given a signed affidavit saying he wished to turn approver.

A commerce graduate, Feroze had claimed to the NIA that he had no intentions to become a terrorist but it was Nazeer who had had led him into the trap. He said he had no idea about the plan for the blasts when he reached Kozhikode on March 3, 2006 upon instructions from the LeT commander. It was only after reaching there he came to know about the plan, he said.

Feroze had come into contact with Nazeer through Abdul Rahim, another terrorist, hailing from Parappanangadi. Rahim was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Kupwara, Kashmir, along with three other Malayalee militants in October, 2008, when they were trying to cross over to Pakistan. According to him, several hardcore militants including Nazeer, Abdul Sattar alias Sainuddin and Abdul Rahim had direct roles in the Kozhikode blasts.

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