Madani arrested before surrender, taken to Bangalore

Karnataka police arrested the PDP leader in connection with 2008 Bangalore blasts case.

Kollam (Kerala): Ending the eight-day long suspense, PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani was Tuesday arrested amid high drama from his camp here by the Karnataka Police in connection with the 2008 Bangalore blast case.

Hours before the deadline set by the Bangalore court
was to expire, a Karnataka Police team executed the
non-bailable arrest warrant as Madani emerged from his
orphanage-cum-madrassa complex at Anwarassery here.

Bangalore Deputy Commissioner of Police Omkarayya
executed the warrant against Madani with the support of Kerala
Police shortly after the PDP leader said he would be
surrendering in a local magistrate court.

As Madani came out in a vehicle from his camp after
mid-day prayers, a heavy contingent of Kerala Police in riot
gear blocked the vehicle to facilitate the Karnataka officials
to effect the arrest.

The police then took charge of the vehicle allowing
only Madani`s wife Soofiya and a personal aide to remain with
the PDP leader.

Kollam SP Harshita Attalluri, who was leading the
Kerala Police team, told reporters gathered in large numbers
at the spot that Madani had been arrested by Karnataka Police.

The entire exercise took place without any immediate
law and order problem except some slogan shouting by
supporters hailing their leader and women and inmates of the
orphanage weeping.

Madani was taken to Thiruvananthapuram en route to
Bangalore by air so that he could be produced before the
Metropolitan Magistrate there this evening itself.

Madani was listed as the 31st accused in an additional
chargesheet filed by the police last month after confessions
by suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba operative T Nazir linking him to
the Bangalore blasts that left one person dead and 20 others

A Karnataka Police team has been camping here for the
last eight days waiting for the nod from the local police for
the arrest of Madani, whose anticipatory bail plea was
rejected by the Karnataka High Court on August 3.

Madani had earlier in the day told reporters that he
would surrender before a local court this afternoon after
mid-day prayers with the orphanage inmates.

Maintaining that he was falsely implicated in the case
as part of "a deep-rooted conspiracy", Madani said he wanted
to surrender as he had faith in the judiciary and also he
could record whatever he wanted to say in the court.

Madani has moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on
his arrest in the case.

The PDP leader was also an accused in the 1998
Coimbatore serial bomb blast case in which 58 people were
killed and over 200 injured hours before an election meeting
to be addressed by senior BJP leader L K Advani. He was
acquitted later by the trial court.

Two police officers from Bangalore had come to Kerala
a week ago with the warrant, after the PDP leader`s
anticipatory plea was rejected by the Karnataka High Court.

Madani`s Anwarassery camp has been witnessing high
drama and suspense since last Saturday with the state police
sending forces there creating the impression that the arrest
was imminent.

But the matter dragged on in view of the security
situation on the eve of the Independence Day and the then
three-day visit of President Pratibha Patil to the state.

On Sunday, Madani himself stated at a press meet that
he preferred to surrender in a court instead of arrest.

The issue gained momentum with two senior police
officials from Karnataka arriving yesterday and making it
clear that they could no longer wait indefinitely as they were
bound to complete the legal process.

After a blame game between the two states, an
understanding between Kerala and Karnataka on executing the
warrant was reached last night leaving no other option for the
PDP leader, who had raised the issue of his health.


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