Madani's arrest likely after President's visit is over

Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said his Karnataka counterpart V S Acharya spoke to him and sought the help of the state for arresting Madani. A Karnataka Police team is camping in Kerala for the past four days, awaiting the state police's nod to arrest Madani whose anticipatory bail plea has been rejected by the Karnataka High Court.

Speaking to reporters here after the telephonic talk, with Acharya, Balakrishnan said there was no misunderstanding between the two governments and the "controversy" over the matter was a media creation.

He said the arrest warrant would be executed at an appropriate time after Patil's visit, adding, security arrangements for her were important for the state government. Balakrishan said the state police would extend all help to Karnataka police on the matter.

A meeting of top police officials in the state would be held soon and the DGP had been given necessary instructions to help the Karnataka police carry out the arrest, he said.

It was the responsibility of the Karnataka police to carry out the arrest warrant. While helping them arrest Madani, the government would not allow any law and order problems. He could not say when the arrest would be made.

The minister said the 'confusion' could have been avoided if the Kerala government had been informed well in advance by Karnataka and there was no need for a blame game between the two states on the issue.

To a question, Balakrishnan said he did not want to go into the merits of the case against Madani. The PDP leader, who was an accused in the 1998 Coimbatore serial bomb blasts case which claimed 58 lives and was later acquitted, has made it clear that he would cooperate in the arrest and continue to fight his legal battle.

Bangalore Police said they were receiving full cooperation of their Kerala counterparts in the Madani case. "Kerala Police are fully cooperating with us. We are not facing any problems," Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said in Bangalore.

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