Rajesh Padmar in Bengaluru
A delegation of Muslim leaders from Muslim League of Kerala, KFD and others met Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on June 3 and requested to release Madani. The meeting was facilitated by Home Minister KK George and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy
It has been revealed that behind-the-scene efforts are on to secure the release of the infamous terrorist Abdul Nasser Madani from jail on the pretext of his ill health. A delegation comprising leaders from several Muslim organisations including Muslim League of Kerala, KFD and others, met the Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on June 3 and requested to release Madani.
Muslim League national chief secretary Siraj Ibrahim Sait and district head Sadiq Ali Sihab Tanjal were part of the delegation. During the discussion Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was accompanied by Karnataka Home Minister KK George and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy. The delegation also had separate discussions with Home Minister KK George before and after the meeting with the Chief Minister. The delegation impressed upon the Chief Minister as to how the Karnataka Government could legally co-operate in getting Madani released on the pretext of his deteriorating health condition.
Given the fact that even Kerala has a Congress government, which does not have a majority on its own and is supported by the Muslim League has given an opportunity for the League to pressurise the government in this manner. Only about two months ago, Madani was out on parole and had visited Kerala for five days on the pretext of the marriage of his daughter. It was after his return the Chief Minister of Kerala began to politically pressurise the Government of Karnataka to release Madani.
After the meeting with Chief Minister and Home Minister, the delegation of Muslim leaders from Kerala also visited the Parappana Agrahara jail and held an hour-long discussion with Madani. The Karnataka government that has been caught in such political pressure, has assured the delegation that it will positively co-operate to its request to release Madani. Beyond this, the Chief Minister’s office had taken enough measures not to publicly reveal either the news or photos of the meeting of the CM with the delegation of Muslims leaders from Kerala. But the delegation of Muslim leaders upon its return to Kerala had published the news and photos of the meeting in several newspapers there, thus revealing the news about this secret meeting.
Hope of Madani’s release arose in the Kerala Congress and Muslim League circles, as soon as the Congress formed the government in Karnataka. Moreover, the fact that Karnataka’s Home Minister KK George, who was designated on the orders of the Congress high command, is originally from Kerala has immensely contributed to this hope.
The Karnataka High Court on November 22, 2012 had rejected Madani’s bail plea citing health grounds. Madani is an accused in 2008 Bangalore serial blasts case. In his bail plea, he had claimed that he was a chronic diabetic and wheelchair dependent. He said he also suffers from cardiac problems, disc prolapse, cervical spondylosis and has been diagnosed with ‘diabetic retinopathy’ (eye ailment).
Madani, arrested in Kerala on August 17, 2010 and sent to judicial custody, has been lodged in Parappana Agrahara jail since then. He has been charged with treason, terrorism and attempt to murder. Karnataka Police have accused him of being part of the hatching the plot and assisting terrorists. The serial blasts prior to a poll meeting to be addressed by senior BJP leader LK Advani had left 58 people dead and over 200 others injured. He was also accused in the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blast case but was acquitted by the trial court. He spent nine years in jail before being acquitted in 2007. He contended that ever since he was arrested and sent to judicial custody, no proper medical treatment was given to him for any of the above ailments. However, the police deny all these charges.