NIA to dig up buried terror cases in Kerala

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on February 2, 2010

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) have decided to dig up some significant terror-related cases in which the follow-up probes were alleged to have been abandoned by the Kerala Police due to intervention by political leaders. The agency feels that the anti-terror squad of the Kerala Police, known as the Special Investigation Team, had sabotaged the follow-up probes even when clinching leads were available due to high-level intervention.

Informed sources say that the report the NIA team in Kerala has sent to Delhi mentions that a thorough examination is needed to find out whether the State police had deliberately tried to mislead the court by submitting two different chargesheets on the case of the burning of a Tamil Nadu state bus at Kalamassery off Kochi in September, 2005. Sufiya, wife of Islamist leader Abdul Nasser Madani, is the tenth accused in the case in which the prime accused is Thadiyantavide Nazeer, said to be the South India commander of LeT.

According to Intelligence sources, the NIA is of the feeling that the administrative, police and political bosses could have decided to go soft on several cases due to the relationships between the transnational terror operatives and the spiritual and political leaders in the State. However, the NIA would now extend its investigation into this aspect as well, they said.

It is said that a top official of the State’s police’s anti-terror squad in his report had recommended a hunt for several persons now based in Gulf, including top SIMI man CAM Basheer, on the basis of the statements given by Sarfaraz Nawas, the Oman-based fund-raiser of the LeT who was arrested by the Research and Analysis Wing in Muscat last May. Copies of this report had been submitted to all the concerned offices, including the State Police Headquarters, but no instructions were allegedly issued for follow-up investigations.

The NIA report says that the help of Central agencies like the RAW could have been sought for nabbing these key terror operatives in the Gulf if the anti-terror squad had continued the probe on the basis of the official’s report. Sources said this simple act of omission had caused huge setback in the progress of the terror investigations.

Meanwhile, the NIA is likely to get soon the tapes with the recordings of the telephone conversations indicative of the roles of Madani and his wife Sufiya in the bus-burning at Kalamassery. Information on these tapes, said to be in the possession of the Intelligence Bureau presently, has never come out even once in the five-year-long investigations held by the State police.

Sources say that these tapes have the recordings of conversations between Sufiya Madani and Thadiyantavide Nazeer also. They are of the opinion that though the tapes are unlikely to be accepted as evidence in the court they would be of high value as far as the investigations of the NIA are concerned. NIA has already made it clear that it would interrogate several persons, including Sufiya, on the basis of the preliminary evidences.

There were reports that the State police also were in the possession of certain tapes with the recordings of conversations between Sufiya and several others with regard to the Kalamassery terror operation but no mention had been made about these in the chargesheet. It is alleged that the police had buried these tapes at the insistence of top political leaders.

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