8 Dec 2009, ET Bureau
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While there is increasing concern about the sheer breadth of operations that Lashkar-e-Taiba may have established in Kerala, political leaders in the state have begun sparring over fixing responsibility for the startling rise of Lashkar-suspect Thadiyantavide Nazir as a key suspect in international terrorism.
Political point-scoring touched a new low today when chief minister VS Achuthanandan and home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan made discordant notes about the decision to send north zone IG Tomin Thachankary to Bangalore to question T Nazir.
While the chief minister said it was not the government that sent Mr Thachankary to Bangalore, the home minister said it was with the knowledge of the home ministry that the IG had gone to Bangalore.
The differing notes by the CM and the home minister come even as the opposition United Democratic Front and the BJP are critical of the manner in which the state government is going ahead with its probe into T Nazir’s suspected role in a number of terror incidents in the state in recent years.
BJP state general secretary MT Ramesh has accused the government of trying to avoid a probe that will expose links between T Nazir and People’s Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Madhani.
Earlier, UDF convenor PP Thankachan said the state government owed an explanation for its decision to send Mr Thachankary for questioning T Nazir instead of sending ATS chief DIG TK Vinod Kumar. UDF leaders say that the Left government cannot shirk its responsibility for having left Nazir off despite having nabbed him twice.
Nazir and his associate Shafas Shamsuddin who hail from Kannur are believed to have played key roles in a number of criminal activities in the state, and the former is also wanted in a murder case in the state. State police are hoping to get clues from the duo about a number of cases including the burning of a Tamil Nadu bus at Kochi, and an attempt on the life of former chief minister EK Nayanar.
More than that, the interrogation of the duo is expected to provide valuable leads into the extent of penetration that the LeT may have achieved in Kerala and the rest of the country.