Acharya does a volte-face on Madani

Acharya does a volte-face on Madani

On Tuesday afternoon, Acharya claimed that interrogation has revealed Madani’s role in the blasts near the stadium, ahead of an Indian Premier League match in April. However, speaking to Deccan Herald later in the evening, he said the media had misquoted him.

Sources involved in the investigation of the case refused to corroborate Acharya’s earlier claim made at a press conference here. In fact, sources said that a so-called confession by the accused before the police will have to be independently corroborated by other evidence for it to be admissible in a court of law.

There are indications of Madani’s involvement in the blasts outside Chinnaswamy stadium. Investigations are on and a clearer picture will emerge in the days to come, Acharya said, a claim that was challenged as “baseless” by Madani’s counsel in Thiruvananthapuram.

Counsel Ali Akbar said Acharya’s statement was baseless and the minister “is trying to make political capital through such statements”. Akbar said Acharya’s statement was “devoid of facts because so far Madani has been questioned only for a few hours. No detailed questioning has taken place.”

Fifteen people were injured in two low-intensity blasts near the cricket stadium before the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians here on April 17. At that time, the Home Minister had declared in the Legislative Assembly that the blasts were carried out by the betting mafia.

One of the explosions took place at Anil Kumble Circle, meters away from the stadium, while the second blast was reported from a generator room near Gate 12 of the stadium. While the match was held after an hour-long delay, the two IPL semi-final matches scheduled to be held in Bangalore were shifted to Mumbai for security reasons.
Acharya said the police is likely to seek extension of Madani’s custody for further interrogation. Madani has been fasting during the ongoing Ramzan and the police had to conduct interrogation between his prayer sessions, Acharya said. The PDP chief accused was arrested by a state police team in Kerala on August 17 and has been remanded in police custody by a Bangalore magistrate till August 26.

Acharya said Madani’s links with 17 other accused in the 2008 blast case was been established during interrogation. As many as nine bomb explosions were set off in Bangalore on July 25, 2008 in which one person was killed and 20 injured. The blasts were caused by low-intensity crude bombs triggered by timers.

Madani has been charge-sheeted as accused number 31 in the serial blasts case registered at the Madivala police station. The PDP leader’s name cropped up during questioning of his former pupil and prime accused T Naseer.
Acharya said he had no information relating to Madani’s reported links with some state politicians, adding however that the police were free to take up investigation and the state government would not interfere at any point of time.

Tough task
The police have a daunting task in proving Madani's role in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts case. “We have crossed the first hurdle by arresting Madani. Now, the onus is on us to prove it,” said a police officer.

Police sources said investigating officers have collected crucial evidence in proving Madani's role in the blast.  Three months before the blast, Nasir, Riyaz Bhatkal and a few others had met Madani and his wife in Suntikoppa, sources said. “We are sure that Madani's wife introduced Riyaz and others to her husband. But there is no clear evidence. But with regard to Madani, we have done a thorough investigation and efforts are on to nail him,” said the source.

 ‘Moudany, not Madani’
“I am ‘Moudany’ and not Madani. Get my name right,” Madani told police and pointed that the Tamil Nadu court had given him a clean chit.
At the government hospital he was seen advising the doctors attending to him with regard to the medication he is taking for his health problems.
DH News Service

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