Prof attack: Probe extended to top PFI leaders

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi published on August 6, 2010

The Kerala Police team probing the July 4 attack on college professor TJ Joseph has extended the investigation to the State leadership of the Islamist outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), even as they ordered confiscation of the assets of absconding PFI leader Nasser, the chief conspirator and mastermind of the attack. Meanwhile, the police arrested nine PFI activists from Ottapalam, Palakkad.

Sources in the police said Circle Inspector, Muvattupuzha had served notice on the top leaders of the Popular Front, including the State general secretary, to appear for an evidence-gathering exercise on August 9. They said the move was to collect information regarding the accused in the case of attack on the college professor.

Earlier, there were reports that the State leadership of the PFI had knowledge about the plan to attack the professor for preparing a question paper that allegedly blasphemed Prophet Muhammad. It is said that the PFI’s Muvattupuzha local unit had planned the attack but it was known to the State leadership.

Reports had said that the State leadership had opposed the plan pointing out the possibilities of negative fallout as far as the organization was concerned but the local leaders had persisted in the demand for action. It is also said that the matter had been discussed several times in the Ernakulam district committee of the PFI between April and June.

The Muvattupuzha police started efforts to confiscate the assets of PFI leader Nasser of Kunjunnikkara, Aluva, who had allegedly masterminded the attack on the professor. As part of this, the police had the other day examined Nasser’s 41-cent land in Kunjunnikkara and his house in it. They asked the Ernakulam district collector to confiscate his assets.

Yunus, one of the PFI leaders arrested in the case, had told the police that Nasser was the chief conspirator behind the operation and that he had roped in two of the seven men who took part in the attack. The court had earlier declared Nasser and another accused KK Ali of Kothamangalam absconders.

The police would soon file an application in the court for clearance for confiscation of Ali’s assets as well. They had the other day examined the details of his property and had held discussions with the Village Office authorities regarding this. The police have already arrested 15 persons in connection with the attack but not even a single person with direct involvement has been held so far.

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