The Supreme Court on Monday called Kerala’s People Democratic Party leader Abdul Naseer Madani (Maudany), facing trial in the Bengaluru blasts case of 2008, a ‘dangerous man’. Madani, who is out on bail, had moved the top court seeking permission to leave Bengaluru for his hometown in Kerala, and wanted to remain there till the trial was over.
As per a news report, a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said: “You are a dangerous man.” CJI Bobde noted, “Bail was granted by a bench of which I was a part.” However, Justice Ramasubramanian said he might have represented Madani earlier as a lawyer, and if it is correct he would have to recuse himself from hearing the matter.
Madani had moved the top court has sought relief citing delay of more than six years in completing the trial. Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, brother of controversial advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioner, submitted before the bench that Justice Bobde had allowed him to travel to Kerala for a brief period for personal reasons. However, the bail was granted by another bench.
Bhushan sought time to verify the observation made by Justice Ramasubramaniam. After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court scheduled it for further hearing next week.
In an application, Madani, 56, had contended the cases were being ‘dragged’ due to various reasons – recall of witnesses, transfer of prosecutor and trial judges, and Covid-19 — and it was necessary to relax the bail conditions. He insisted that ‘currently his presence in the trial was not required’.
In July 2014, the top court had granted bail to Maudany in the backdrop of his alleged health issues and directed him not to leave Bengaluru.
Madani claimed that he was unable to avail Ayurveda treatment for his ill-health and cited the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as the reason. It is just one of the ironies of our nation that a terror accused who believes in the supremacist and exclusivist Islamist ideology now claims to need Ayruveda treatment, a Hindu knowledge system evolved over centuries by the grace of Bhagwan Dhanvantri and Rishis like Charak.
Madani’s application, filed through advocates Harris Beeran and R.S. Jena contended the Karnataka government had made a submission before the top court in 2014, that the trial will be completed within a period of four months. However, since then, more than six years have elapsed, and the trial has still not been concluded.
Madani is an extremist, accused of organizing terrorist activities all over Bharat in collaboration with UN-designated terrorist organizations including the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) led by Hafiz Saeed. Madani’s political outfit called the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was formed in the aftermath of the Babri structure demolition in the early nineties. He also has several police cases against him for his inflammatory speeches aimed at fanning violence against Hindus.
Madani had earlier been arrested in 2000 for his role in the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts aimed at eliminating BJP leader L K Advani who was in town, but was later acquitted in 2007 for ‘lack of evidence’. Multiple bombs were detonated by terrorists with one blowing up just 800 meters from where Advani ji was supposed to speak, killing 58. How or why Madani who was accused of supplying the explosives was acquitted in that blast case is still debatable.
The answer probably lies in the fact that both the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhaka (DMK) allied with founder of banned terror outfit Al-Umma and the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhakam (TNMMK), S A Basha, who was convicted for the Coimbatore bomb blasts in 2007. These political parties tried everything they could to subvert the flow of justice.
The AIADMK which was in power when the blasts occurred tried its best to ban and jail these terrorists. The DMK which came to power in 2001 reportedly provided Madani ayurvedic massages in jail using taxpayer’s money. In 2006 the DPA alliance of DMK with 97 MLAs, the Congress with 33 MLAs, and the TNMMK with none returned to power in the 234 seat Tamil Nadu assembly and within a couple of weeks started dropping cases against known Muslim radicals like Kichaan Buhari. By 2007 matters had come to a stage where the DMK government refused to even appeal the acquittal of Madani.
The Congress which was ruling in Kerala in 2006 jumped into the Muslim appeasement mode and passed a resolution in the Kerala Assembly demanding the release of Madani. The communists too supported the resolution and not a single MLA voted against the move to try and free a known terrorist from jail.
Madani who had supported the Congress party in Kerala back in 2001 switched sides and asked his supporters to elect communists in 2006, and unsurprisingly after the CPM and its allies came to power Pinarayi Vijayan and his party cozied up to the alleged terrorist, who once masterminded an assassination attempt on an old communist leader.
The very next year after his release, serial blasts rocked Bangalore and he was again arrested in 2010. He remained in judicial custody till getting bail in 2014 from an SC bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar, on the condition that he would not leave Bengaluru.
In 2014, while out on bail and enjoying a month with his wife (also an accused in a bus burning case in Ernakulam), Madani claimed that he spoke to both the Kerala Congress CM, Oomman Chandy and the then Home Minister, Ramesh Chennithala, who ‘expressed surprise’ at the Karnataka government opposing his bail!
Ironically, while the then Congress government in Karnataka had approached SC asking for cancellation of Madani’s bail as it was posing a big challenge to the administration with a steady stream of VIP visitors to Madani, one of those visitors was Kerala’s Congress CM Oommen Chandy! Talk about running with the hares and hunting with the hounds – perfect example of two-faced Nehruvian secularism.
Thadiyandavida Nazeer, a close confidante of Madani since their PDP days that began in the early nineties, was also allegedly the southern Bharat commander of the LeT. On the run since the late nineties (immediately after Madani was arrested), he had settled in Bangladesh under an alias. It was here that Bangladeshi security nabbed him in 2009 when he was plotting the bombing of the Bharat Embassy in Dhaka on the anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. He was then handed over to the BSF in Meghalaya.
His terrorist activities include the Bangalore IISC attack in 2005, bombings in Hyderabad, Coimbatore, and in Kozhikode. He recruited youth from his native of Kannur in Kerala, of whom four were subsequently shot dead by Jammu & Kashmir security forces in 2008. He is also involved in the bus burning case in Ernakulam and had arranged clandestine meetings for the SIMI cadre in 2006 & 2007. Ironically, T Nazeer is also accused of the murder attempt of former communist chief minister of Kerala, E K Nayanar, and for his role in the Bengaluru serial blasts case.
That the National Investigating Agency (NIA) has a tight case is exactly why Madani is not totally free yet. But why a man who the Supreme Court itself calls a ‘dangerous man’ is out on bail raises a serious question mark on how seriously our judiciary takes national security. Madani still holds enormous sway amongst radical Muslim sleeper cells spread all across Kerala who might intimidate witnesses.
(With IANS inputs)
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