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CPI-M trying to shield LeT operative: Cong, BJP

By Arun Lakshman
December 07, 2009 17:01 IST
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Senior Congress leader and convener of the Opposition United Democratic FrontĀ  P P Thankachan has accused Kerala's ruling Communist Party of India-led Left Democratic Front of trying to shield Thadiyantavida Naseer, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative from the state, who was arrested along the India-Bangladesh border recently.

Naseer is currently in the custody of the Bengaluru police, after he admitted to his role in planning and carrying out the serial blasts in the city last July.

He is also wanted by the Jammu and Kashmir police as Naseer allegedly recruited dozens of youths from Kerala and sent them for terror training to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, using the exfiltration routes in the state.

Naseer is believed to have given some crucial details to the Bengaluru police about his links with leaders of a political party in Kerala. The militant, said to be the head of the LeT's south India unit, has reportedly told his interrogators that he had been a staunch worker of a political party and received patronage when he had been arrested in Kerala, official sources said.

Thankachan, former speaker of Kerala assembly, has alleged that the state government is trying to protect the interests of some senior political figures connected to the case. He questioned the motive behind the government's decision to hand over the investigation to Inspector General of Police (Kannur) Tomin J Thachankery, who was suspended for several months on corruption charges.

Thankachan demanded to know why Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had not handed over the probe to Special Investigation Squad's Deputy Inspector General Vinod Kumar, who has been in-charge of the investigations in all the terror-related cases in the state.

The Congress leader told media persons on Monday that though Naseer had been arrested by the Kerala police even before the Bengaluru blasts, some senior politicians intervened in time to secure his release. Thankachan claimed that the Bengaluru serial blasts, which killed two people, could have been averted if Naseer had been kept behind bars.

Singing the same tune, the Bharatiya Janata Party also accused the state government of harbouring some ulterior motive in the Naseer case, and sending IG Thachankery to question the terror operative in Bengaluru, instead of the chief of the special investigation team.

The party's Yuva Morcha state president K Surendran asked media persons how a tainted policeman could handle such a sensitive case.

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Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram