NDF daily refuses to let cops question reporter

via Pioneer News Service / Kozhikode published on November 6, 2008

The management of Thejas newspaper, the organ of Islamist organisation NDF, on Thursday refused to honour a notice sent by the Edakkad police, Kannur, to one of their correspondents asking him to appear in the police station for questioning on the basis of a report appeared in his byline in the paper.

P Koya, editor, Thejas, said the reporter need not appear in the station for questioning as desired by the police as it involved issues of freedom of the Press. The Edakkad police, which was spearheading the hunt for terrorists and terror recruiters currently in Kannur district, had sent the notice to TS Nizamuddeen, who on Wednesday had started publishing a serialised report on ‘Terror Hunt in Kerala: Unsolved Mysteries’ in the newspaper.

The report had alleged that the police had all the necessary information about Nazeer of Neerchal, Kannur, who the police believed to be the kingpin of terror operations and recruitments for Lashkar-e-Taiba from northern Kerala, but they were reluctant to arrest him due to some pressures from influential quarters. The report also said that Nazeer had close connections with some CPI(M) leaders. The police had reportedly been on a manhunt for Nazeer since the second week of October.

The Edakkad police held that they had sent the notice to Nizamuddeen by a special courier for collecting information from him as the report had carried vital information on Nazeer and also a photograph of Nazeer also was published along with it.

According to editor Koya, Thejas might not be the only paper that had got the picture of Nazeer and others as well could have information about the terror operative. Newspapers and television news channels would have their sources for getting information, and it was not necessary that they should divulge such information to the police as in some countries ruled by autocrats.

He said Thejas had published the report on the basis of the information it had and it was the job of the police to arrest Nazeer or any other criminal. He said it was illogical that the police should send notices to mediamen when they read a report. The first part of the serialised report had appeared on Wednesday.

The police had on Saturday last taken into custody NDF worker Moideenkutty alias Kunjootty, who was also the local report of Thejas in Tanur, Malappuram, along with two young men from Jharkhand, but they were released later after a brief questioning. The young men from Jharkhand, named Vijay Shankar Prasad and Ravikant Kumar, were textile designing students.

The police, who believed that Nazeer and Ibrahim Moulvi of Vellamunda, Wayanad were the topmost operatives in charge of recruitment of young Malayalee men to the terror outfit, were continuing the hunt for the duo. Mujeeb, arrested earlier this week, was said to be an associate of Nazeer and Ibrahim Moulvi in recruiting young men to be sent to Pakistan for training in terror operations.

They also believed that Nazeer, trained in terror operations in Pakistan and elsewhere, was the senior-most recruiter in Kannur. Ibrahim Moulvi was mostly in charge of taking classes for prospective recruited and recruited young men, by travelling all over the State.

The police were convinced that Ibrahim Mouilvi had organised classes in Kannur city, Neerchal, Thana and Maithanappally. They said that Ibrahim Moulvi, who had married a girl from Kappad, used to visit her house regularly

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