Madhani: Just a sample of ‘terror’ brewing in Kerala - I
by B R Haran on 23 Jan 2010 6 Comments

In the aftermath of terrorist Abdul Nazar Madhani’s wife Sufiya’s arrest by the Kerala police, both the Congress and Communist parties enacted a brazen drama blaming each other publicly for the growth of terror in Kerala. But people have not forgotten the ‘voluntary service’ rendered by both parties to Madhani, his family and party. Shall we have a glimpse of that ‘service’ to terror?


Secular politicians as Madhani’s servants


Abdul Nazar Madhani was under incarceration under charges of conspiracy and involvement in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts case between 1998 and 2007. On June 2, 2005, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met Madhani’s wife and father at their residence and assured steps for the immediate release of Madhani on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.


On March 14, 2006, the Kerala Assembly comprising Congress, Communist and Muslim parties unanimously passed a shocking and unprecedented resolution seeking release of Madhani on humanitarian grounds. Kerala politicians thus earned the ‘honour’ of shaming the nation. 


Later, Kerala Chief Minister Achutanandan sent his ministers to Coimbatore prison to meet Madhani to extend moral support and assure steps being taken for his release. On June 10, 2006, Achutanandan himself came and met his Tamil Nadu counterpart Karunanidhi to secure the release of Abdul Nazar Madhani. Though Karunanidhi refused to release Madhani, he arranged for an ‘Ayurvedic Spa’ and preferential treatment in the name of healthcare, exclusively for Madhani inside the prison.


On August 1, 2007, after a laborious trial in a special court, Justice Uthirapathi acquitted Madhani for want of damning evidence. Madhani was given a hero’s welcome in Thiruvananthapuram. Both the UDF and LDF vied for credit for his acquittal. While Communists as the ruling dispensation could join the festivities at the felicitation function, Congressmen could not join as they were the opposition. Madhani assured his support to the LDF government. As Kerala politicians shamelessly painted him as a Good Samaritan, Madhani tried to project a new moderate image. He claimed he had never been a terrorist (!) and his future plan was to work for the welfare of Dalits & Muslims. He clarified he would not sue the TN government for detaining him in prison for nine long years, but warned that he would take up the case again if Tamil Nadu went for an appeal.


Terror woman Sufiya


In September 2005, Madhani’s party men burnt a Tamil Nadu State Corporation bus at Kalamassery near Cochin. A terrorist named Nazeer, who was involved in many terror attacks including the said incident, was caught in Bangladesh and deported to India. He was also wanted in connection with the 2008 Bengaluru blasts, and now it has been revealed that he is the South India Commander of the Pak-based LeT. When Kerala police questioned him, they discovered he had been given refuge in Madhani’s house and that he and Madhani’s wife were involved in many terror attacks such as Bengaluru blasts, Coimbatore Press Club attack, attack on IISc, Bengaluru, apart from the bus burning incident in Kalamassery.

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So Kerala police included her in the chargesheet on December 12 and her anticipatory bail application was rejected by the Kerala High Court, after which she was arrested on December 17. Police teams from neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also questioning her.

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But Madhani termed the police action against his wife as a ‘conspiracy’ against him and his family and alleged that certain top police officials were behind it.


Sufiya on her part said the Kerala authorities are spreading canards about her for being a devout Muslim woman.



Anti-terror drama by Congressmen and Communists


The moment Sufiya was arrested, both Congress and Communist parties vied with each other to distance themselves from Madhani. Till recently both parties had been singing paeans on Madhani, calling him secularist and Mahatma, and now they have started enacting a brazen drama as if they don’t have any connections with Madhani, his family and party. Their fight to disown him seems worse than their fight to have an electoral alliance with him!



Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who doesn’t hesitate to flaunt his love for terrorists, had said, “The police action enhanced the image of our LDF Government with respect to its ‘relentless’ attitude towards extremism. The former UDF Government had slept over several evidences against Sufiya for eight months without taking any action.” 


This led Opposition leader Oommen Chandy to retort: “Why the LDF Government’s police had taken more than 42 months to move against Sufiya Madhani. Kodiyeri is speaking about my lapses in arresting Sufiya in those eight months. I am asking him for the reason of his lapses in the same matter for 42 months.” He added that the UDF, while going out of power, had handed over all evidences the Home Department had gathered in the case to the new LDF regime. “Why the delay in arresting Sufiya when he was in possession of the same evidences that he was now speaking of” asked Chandy. He claimed the UDF had never tried to mix law and order issues with politics.


But Kerala had seen enough of both fronts seeking the electoral support of Abdul Nasser Madhani’s party.

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Chennai High Court’s verdict on Coimbatore blast victims’ Appeal Petitions


When Kerala politicians were fighting each other on Madhani, the Chennai HC delivered its verdict on the appeal petitions filed by some Coimbatore blast victims. Justice Praba Sridevan and Justice Sathyanarayanan not only upheld the acquittal of Madhani, but ordered the release of 22 more terrorists! This verdict of the High Court was a heavy blow to the victims, adding insult to their injury. 


The High Court also made some scathing observations against the state government. The bench condemned the release of 9 terrorists on former CM Annadurai’s birth anniversary: “The power of executive is subject to the rule of law and it cannot be exercised on the ground of political expediency. It cannot be granted merely as a grand gesture. It is not for the benefit of the convicts alone. The executive should equally bear in mind the society and the message it means to the community.” The bench observed that a systematic and methodological investigation was absent and that the prosecution should have slapped charges under stronger laws.


Observing that there was enough material to indicate a conspiracy and a cohesive plan, the bench said, “What did the plotters achieve by the deaths of innocent persons? Was there any triumph in the senseless killing of youth? It could not have given anyone any cause to cheer. We do not think even the plotters would have felt happy after the event” (19 Dec. 2009)


(To be continued…)

The writer is a senior journalist; he lives in Chennai

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