Thursday, December 17, 2009

Madani's wife held for suspected Lashkar links

PTI 17 December 2009

KOCHI: Soofiya Madani, wife of PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani, was on Thursday arrested from her residence shortly after the Kerala High Court dismissed her anticipatory bail application in connection with the burning of a Tamil Nadu bus in the state in September 2005.

Soofiya was named as the tenth accused by the Kerala police recently after the interrogation of suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant T Nazir, who was picked up by the Bangladesh Rifles along with an associate and handed over to Indian security agencies.

Her arrest came as Justice K T Sankaran dismissed her bail plea stating that, prima facie, there was evidence that terrorism took place and there were serious allegations against the petitioner of waging war against the country.

Within minutes of the verdict, she was arrested and taken away amid slogans raised in her support by PDP activists, according to police.

Soofiya was listed as an accused in the case a week ago. Assistant Commissioner of Police P M Varghese, who heads the investigation, filed a report in the Aluva Judicial First Class magistrate court today listing her as accused.

Though police had served her notice twice on December 9 and 10, she had refused to appear before police.

Justice Sankaran said in his order that narrow political consideration should be kept aside and the state was bound to protect the life and property of the people. Short and long term efforts to combat terrorism should be made by the government, the court said.

Security personnel were deployed in front of Soofiya's residence following the verdict. Soofiya, who was in Kollam, had arrived here early today since her anticipatory bail plea was coming up before the High Court.

The accused approached the High Court on December 11, the day she was listed as an accused, seeking an interim direction to police not to arrest her but the court rejected her plea.

According to Soofiya, she had been questioned by police several times and no material evidence was found against her.

A Tamil Nadu bus was torched allegedly by PDP activists at Kalamaserry near here in September 2005 during a protest against continued detention of Abdul Nasser Madani in connection with the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts which left 58 persons dead and over 200 others injured. Madani was later acquitted by the trial court.

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