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Kerala cops freed SIMI jihadis in '06

Kerala cops freed SIMI jihadis in '06

Author: Ananthakrishnan G
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 1, 2008

Introduction: Same Group Is Said To Be Behind B'lore, Jaipur Terror Attacks

Could precious lives have been saved in Jaipur and Bangalore had the Kerala police not "bungled'' in a case involving some senior SIMI activists arrested by them in 2006? If the sloppy manner in which the police handled the issue involving hardline jihadi cadres-who later went on to mastermind the May 13 Jaipur blasts and believed to have played a major role in the July 25 Bangalore serial explosions-is any indication, the answer is in the affirmative.

The case relates to the arrest of five SIMI men who were holding a meeting at Binanipuram near Aluva in Ernakulam district on August 15, 2006. Though a total of 18 SIMI men were rounded up, the police mysteriously reg istered a case against only five and let off the rest. The FIR registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act named five accused-Shaduli, Ansar Moulavi, Nizamuddin, Abdul Rafeeq and Shamas. Almost two years into their arrest, cops are yet to even file a chargesheet in the case. Not unusual for the police, except for the fact that two of them-Ansar Moulvi and Sahduli-are now in the custody of the Rajasthan police in connection with the Jaipur blasts. Ansar Moulavi and Shaduli also attended a secret training camp at Vagamon in Kerala's Idukki district in December 2007, a year after they were arrested by the Binanipuram police and released on bail. A third one is reportedly detained in Bangalore after last week's serial blasts. Nizamuddin fled India and is said to be operating from Saudi Arabia, while the whereabouts of the fifth person isn't known.

The extent of bungling dawned on the police only after the May 13 Jaipur arrests. But by then, it was too late. But with the SIMI threat looming large again, demands have grown in the administration for a probe into the role of two senior cops who are said to have "sabotaged'' the probe. According to reports, the manner in which the police probed the case reveals a deliberate lack of interest. There was no attempt to pursue the matter or collect evidence. An LDF MLA is said to have even called on the SIMI men in jail after their arrest to convey his "sympathy''.

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