Police vie for custody of 'saint'


 A team of the Kerala police has flown to Shillong to seek Nazeer’s custody with a production warrant from the Kannur Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in two cases.
IGPTomin Thachenkery said the cases against him were of varied nature, including terror acts and even an assassination attempt on former chief minister E K Nayanar.

Even though it was up to the Shillong magistrate court to decide on granting his custody, the police of both states will cooperate in questioning him as they have done in earlier instances, Thachenkery said.

Nazeer had given the police the slip in 1999 even as he was caught in connection with the murder of one Vinod. Even though the grapevine goes that he had influenced the cops to escape, his followers spread the word that he had disappeared mysteriously.

This ‘daring’ act earned him quite a name among his followers who looked upon him as a saint. True to his hallowed image, Nazeer had been evading arrest since then.

Nazeer later met Imam Ali, the mastermind of the 1998 Coimbatore serial bomb blasts and member of the fundamentalist group Al-Umma who was shot dead in 2002. He is believed to have learnt the art of bomb-making from Ali, a skill he employed in the Bangalore serial blasts as well as in the Kozhikode twin blasts.

A former member of the Islamic Sevak Sangh launched by Abdul Nasser Madhani, Nazeer was involved in the assassination attempt on Nayanar. His grouse was the LDF government’s decision to hand over Madhani to Tamil Nadu in connection with the Coimbatore blasts.

He later got into the LeT loop and began recruiting youth for the organisation. Nazeer is also believed to be a key member of the Indian Mujahideen.

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