Soofiya Madani arrested after HC rejects bail plea

A 50-member police commando team, including women police personnel, picked up Soofiya from her residence and took her to the Thrikkakara police station, top police sources said.Soofiya is likely to be produced before the Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate court by Friday.

She was named as the 10th accused by Kerala Police recently after the interrogation of suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant T Nazir, who was picked up on December 2 by Bangladesh Rifles along with an aide and handed over to Indian security agencies.

Nazir and his associate Shafaz have been questioned by Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu police in connection with terror-related cases, including the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts that left two persons dead and 12 others injured.

Soofiya's arrest came within minutes after Justice K T Sankaran dismissed her bail plea observing that serious allegations had been levelled against her and waging war against the government was punishable with imprisonment for life or for 10 years.
Observing that the act of setting fire to the bus was accomplished as a result of "pre-mediation" and with the active assistance and involvement of several persons, the judge said there was prima facie evidence to indicate that terrorist activities took place.

Relief of anticipatory bail was not intended to protect the accused in such offences, the court pointed out.

PDP leader Madani alleged his wife's arrest was the result of a conspiracy and he would legally and democratically fight the case to prove her innocence.
Talking to media at Kollam after Soofiya's arrest, Madani said neither he nor his wife was engaged in any terrorist activity.

He said Nazir had never been a PDP worker.
He alleged that Soofiya was listed as an accused in the bus burning case on the basis of "fake documents" and "false testimonies" as part of a "well-hatched conspiracy" by his rivals, including a section of top police officials.
Justice Sankaran, in his observation, said terrorist activities were alarmingly increasing in Kerala.

The court said people expect much from police who should ask a question to themselves -- Have they taken effective steps to combat terrorism uninfluenced by any consideration whatsoever?
The contentions of the petitioner's counsel that Soofiya was suffering from various ailments, that she was a woman wearing purdah and there was threat from political opponents of her husband, were rejected by the court.

A Tamil Nadu bus was torched allegedly by PDP activists at Kalamaserry near here in September 2005 during a protest against continued detention of Abdul Nasser Madani in connection with the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts which left 58 persons dead and over 200 others injured. Madani was later acquitted by the trial court.

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