Kollam, Kerala: Ending the eight-day long suspense, Kerala PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani was today arrested amid high drama by the Karnataka Police in connection with the 2008 Bangalore blast case.
Madani was taken to Thiruvananthapuram en route to Bangalore by air so that he could be produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate this evening.
There was high drama outside Madani’s residence as a large crowd of teary-eyed supporters gathered to bid their leader an emotional farewell.
Madani left his residence shortly after mid-day prayers to surrender before a local magistrate court. But as soon as emerged from his orphanage-cum-madrassa complex at Anwarassery, a heavy contingent of Kerala police in riot gear stalled the vehicle to allow Karnataka officials to arrest him.Bangalore Deputy Commissioner of Police Omkarayya executed the warrant against Madani with the support of Kerala police. The arrest took place without any law and order problems except some slogan shouting by supporters hailing their leader.
Addressing the media earlier in the day, Madani said he was being falsely implicated in the case as part of a deep-rooted conspiracy.
“When I read about warrant in papers, I spoke to my lawyers. This is a conspiracy against me. I approached the court for bail as it is the right of every citizen,” said Madani.
Appealing for calm, Madani asked party workers to protest through democratic means.
“I don’t believe I can return alive from Karnataka. I may be implicated in many other terror cases. I am suffering from a host of diseases but will surrender. If they arrest me in between, let them do,” he said.
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 injured.
A team of the Bangalore Police reached the Magistrate Court near Madani’s residence on Tuesday even as the PDP leader’s supporters said his health had worsened and he will not be able to travel to Bangalore.
The Bangalore police had been in Kerala waiting to arrest Madani in the 2008 Bangalore blasts case ever since a Karnataka court denied him bail.
Madani has been charged in the past for inflammatory speeches and is also believed to have links with the Laskhar e Toiba. (With PTI inputs)