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Soofiya Madani denied bail, sent to 14 days judicial custody

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 18, 2009 17:13 IST

A court in Kerala on Friday denied bail to People's Democratic Party leader Abdul Madani's wife Soofiya Madani, an accused in the 2005 Tamil Nadu bus burning case, and remanded her in 14-day judicial custody.

Soofiya, who was arrested on Thursday after the state high court rejected her plea for anticipatory bail, was produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate P S Joseph around 2.15 pm amid tight security.

Adequate police personnel were deployed in strength near the court complex to prevent any untoward incidents.

Only the police and journalists were allowed inside the court complex when Soofiya's case was taken up.

While delivering the verdict, the magistrate also directed that the accused should be provided medical aid if necessary. After the court proceedings, Soofiya was taken to the Ernakulam sub-jail.

The case relates to the torching of a Tamil Nadu bus allegedly by PDP activists at Kalamaserry near Aluva in September 2005 during a protest against the then continued detention of Abdul Madani in connection with the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts which left 58 people dead and over 200 others injured.

The PDP leader was later acquitted by a trial court.

Earlier, a police team led by Thrikakara Assistant Commissioner P M Varghese questioned Soofiya till late on Thursday night and on Friday morning about her alleged links with other accused in the case, including suspected Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative T Naseer.

Kochi City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham also questioned her on Friday morning.

He later told journalists that Soofiya has been questioned extensively and the police have got many important inputs, which are being verified.

The police commissioner said only remand procedures would be undertaken on Friday. Soofiya was named as the 10th accused in the bus burning case by the Kerala police recently after the interrogation of Naseer, who was picked up on December 2 by the Bangladesh Rifles along with an aide and handed over to Indian security agencies.

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

Naseer is now in the custody of the Karnataka police.

Soofiya's arrest came within minutes after the Kerala high court dismissed her anticipatory bail plea on Thursday observing that serious allegations had been levelled against her and that "waging war against the government was punishable with imprisonment for life or for 10 years".

Police commandos were also posted near the court when her bail plea was heard.

The court said a government doctor should examine the accused daily.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Mohan George strongly opposed Soofiya's bail application, saying there was enough evidence against her and that it was a terror-related case. Soofiya's counsel B Raman Pillai argued that she was implicated by Naseer due to his "personal animosity" against Madani.
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