Terror mastermind is secular icon

The Islamist People’s Democratic Party’s Supremo Abdul Nasser Mahdani has emerged as the "secularists" icon in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. And who is Mahdani? He is the notorious terrorist that preached fanaticism of the worst kind and is charged with masterminding 1998 Coimbatore serial blasts that targeted Lal Krishan Advani and claimed 58 lives and maimed around 100 innocent citizens. As of now, he is lodged in the high security prison in Coimbatore with 166 coaccused almost of all whom are Jehadis belonging to Al Umma. Do the Prime Minister who recently assured the nation that he would do whatever is required to win the "war against terrorism" and his Home Minister know that the Congress party, its allies like DMK and the CPM that supports his Government from outside, are vying with each other to help this fanatic leader escape from the hands of law under the garb of protecting human rights (only of terrorists)? If he does, they owe it to the nation to take it into confidence of the measures the Government has taken to ensure that the mastermind and the perpetrators of the heinous crime are brought to justice? If not, they have no business to continue to occupy high offices and make shallow announcement about their so called determination to crush terrorism with a heavy hand. As for Sonia Gandhi, she is not accountable to any one. This Italy born lady is ruling the roost unmindful of the damage she is causing to the polity and the security and integrity of the nation in blind chase for votes.

It is a tragic tale of politicians belonging to the Congress, the Left and the DMK demolishing the good work painstakingly done by the law and order agencies to bring the culprits of the serial bomb blasts to justice. First, all parties represented in the Kerala Assembly Congress led UDF was in power then adopted a unanimous resolution demanding "release" of the "leader" who was languishing in jail for eight long years. (Incidentally, BJP is and was not represented in the Assembly). It was the most shameless act of the political class that claims to represent the people of the "enlightened" state of Kerala. No prizes for guessing why? All these parties were looking for Muslim votes that Mahdani controls in parts of Kerala. After voting for the resolution that amounted to undue interference by the legislature in the judicial domain, the CPM sent one of its members of Parliament, T K Hamsa, on a mission to win over Mahdani’s support for the Communists. He met the accused in the jail in a clandestine manner. When his undercover activity came to light the CPM leader said he had gone to meet the prisoner to convey his sympathy for the "violation of his human rights". He didn’t care to explain how Mahdani’s human rights were being violated. LDF kept on wooing the terror mastermind and sent another emissary who once belonged to the Muslim League. Ultimately, PDP was won over and LDF won hands down in several Muslim dominated constituencies thanks to the influence of Mahdani and PDP’s well oiled election machine.

Hugely obliged to the Jehadi leader for the LDF’s landslide victory in Kerala, the Stalinist Chief Minister of CPM led Government with the active cooperation of M Karunanidhi who is equally, if not more, hungry for Muslim vote bank have managed to set up an Ayurvedic spa inside the jail for treating Mahdani who is said to have lost weight. Of course, they are not talking about his political weight for Mahdani continues to be a heavy weight. What if Rs 50,000 of taxpayer’s money is spent on a team of 10 masseurs to massage the prisoner and four senior Ayurvedic doctors to look after the health of the VVIP prisoner who is "rotting" in jail merely because he is suspected of masterminding serial bombing? The "secularists" are not bothered if it is in total violation of the jail manual that says prisoner pays for the private medical treatment he avails.

Still worse is the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s unpardonable order lifting the restrictions on Mahdani’s movement within the prison. The ban was imposed by the previous government under section 268 of CrPC to prevent him from inter acting with other accused so that he may not hatch yet another conspiracy to unleash terror. Yet another illegal favour shown to the accused is that his wife, Soofia, who was then absconding, was allowed to remain with the under trial during his treatment. The question Tamil Nadu Chief Minister must answer is : Who asked the police not to arrest her when she went to stay with Mahdani in the prison? After all, she was wanted in a case registered against her for smuggling in a SIM card for her husband and a non-bailable warrant against her was pending. A case under Sections 353 and 506 (ii) of IPC for obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty and criminal intimidation was registered. That she has now surrerendered and has been bailed out is another story.

Let not the country forget that one of the first decisions Karunanidhi took after assuming office of the Chief Minister was to reinstate a suspended IAS officer, Syed Munir Hoda, and appointed him his secretary. Hoda was suspended by the AIDMK Government for going out of his way to help Hahandani by removing restrictions on his movement within the prison without taking the Government into confidence. Public memory is short. So let it be reminded that when in Opposition, Karunanidhi was suspected of supporting terrorist outfits. An equally worrisome dimension is the political move to transfer Mahdani to a prison in Kerala. Security establishment’s apprehensions that it is a part of the conspiracy to enable the Jehadi to escape from jail with the help of a "friendly and obliged" dispensation in Kerala are eminently valid. More so, because at one point of time, Antony Government had written a letter to Tamil Nadu Government against transfer of Mahdani to Kerala saying it would endanger law and order in Kerala. Are the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister listening?

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