Kozhikode: To meet People’s Democratic Party [PDP] chairman Abdul Nasar Madani at Bangalore Parappana Agrahara jail, Human Rights Activist and columnist NM Sidheeq made written application to the jail authorities. He was asked to wait in the visitor’s room. After long three hours, appeared Prisoner No. 8362 – an accused under trial for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy for the Bangalore blast case of 2008. The prisoner Madani in about two years in the Bangalore jail has reduced to almost a skeleton as well as blind, noted Sidheeq in his observation published in Sunday supplement of the Tejas Malayalam news daily on 20th May 2012.
Sidheeq says Madani is suffering with various diseases like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, cervical spondilitis, urinary block, disc collapse, stomach ulcer, back bone ache, blood pressure and a lot more other diseases which he developed during the last two imprisonments as he was denied basic medical assistance. Now he has almost completely lost his right eyesight being denied of treatment for diabetic retinopathy and the disease has now partially affected his left eye as well.
So Madani now identifies the visitors by the familiarity of their voice. Sidheeq was no different. He was allowed to talk with Madani for around 45 minutes. After the informal chat regarding case details and health state Sidheeq gifted him with his book ‘Bengalil ninnu vaarthakal onnumilla’ [No news from Bengal] and the author soon turned emotional on facing the irony of bringing in a book as gift for a person who is gradually losing his eyesight.
Why made accused in Bangalore
When Sidheeq asked this question, Madani replied, “My politics from its very start bravely took up the idea of Muslim-Dalit-Backward unity. Being a strong believer, I kept intact Muslim identities in my appearance, lost my leg being victim to RSS bomb attack and being considered an orator attacking all upper class establishments it was easy for them to brand me as a terrorist, I fulfilled all necessary criterions of a ‘terrorist in fiction’. The fascists, Hindutva and the Sangh influenced state bodies were badly in search of such a symbol and none other than me, to its best fulfilled the criterion. My acquittal after being found innocent in the Coimbatore bomb blast case increased their vengeance against me”.
Madani says he was questioned for around ten days at the police headquarters at Mathivala in Bangalore. Thadiyantavida Naseer, the prime accused in the blast case too was there in the very next room and it was based on his statement the Karnataka police included Madani in the Bangalore blast case. Madani time and again demanded to meet Naseer and just before being presented in the court Naseer was brought before Madani with his face covered. On meeting Madani, Naseer uttered a few angry words at him asking “why should I give statement against you, when our ways are completely different?”
“A top Police official who questioned me at Bangalore told that, they won’t have included me in the accused list if I had presented before them to give witness statements.” And he told that “everything got worse because I went for anticipatory bail. The police officer was then a bit philosophical and told that “May be as per Hindu mythology, you are destined to suffer because of your deeds in your previous births”. I replied according to my Islamic belief telling that “May be Allah might have decided on to provide me with my food from Bangalore for a few days”.
Madani said, the Police even tried to destroy me mentally by forging cases against my wife, in the Kalamasseri bus fire incident but we overcame all those testing days with our belief in Allah. My condition is far better when compared to the sufferings of our Muslim brothers in American torturing centres like Abu Ghuraib and Guandanamo, what I have suffered is nothing when compared to what was meted upon Syed Khutub and Zainabul Ghazzali by the state and colonial forces, said Madani.
On being taken to Karnataka Institute of Diabetes for treatment Madani was asked to continue with laser treatment on a monthly basis but even after receiving the treatment summary, the jail officials didn’t take him for treatment citing reasons like they don’t have enough escort and so on. It was since then blood got clotted in the right eye veins and Madani at his own expense had to consult the Narayana Eye Hospital, from where the doctors told that due to lack of timely treatment, the eye veins went weak.
The bail application in the Supreme Court too turned tragic with the court prior to the hearing, deciding on not to grant bail. The advocate being paid with millions as fees was not even allowed to involve in the court hearing as the sitting lasted for around 10 minutes. With the bail being denied, my advocates made a humble request to take me to Kottakkal Arya Vaiday Shala in Kerala for further Ayurvedic treatment but prosecution strongly opposed this saying that the treatment could be arranged from Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Shala branch in Bangalore. The branch here in Bangalore doesn’t even have the least facilities for my treatment and thus I was again made to suffer despite the Supreme Court order, says the PDP chairperson.
He used to read around five newspapers, a lot of periodicals and books at the jail. Now being partially blind Madani returned a whole lot of books to his home and he says “it pains like as if I have lost my intimate friend. I might have lost many such intimacies being victims to the fascist tactics but not with the Almighty, whom I will stay close forever” says the Islamic scholar.
Will go for an appeal in SC: Madani
All those who played the dirty game of forging cases against me, are well aware of my innocence. They were just executing the orders of their big masters. So I would rather take this too as an experiment from the part Almighty and with good sportsman spirit. At Coimbatore though I was imprisoned for almost a decade the trial appeared like just. But here in this special sessions court at Bangalore Agrahara jail, the trial procedures are nothing more than a drama. I was driven into a trap, cunningly made after almost one and half years conspiracies. Every evidences and witness statements against me are forged. If the court acts with justice, these forged story plots will soon get exposed, Madani hopes.
Earlier on Madani’s bail application eminent advocates like Jawahar Lal Gupta, Shanti Bhooshan and Susheel Kumar along with Madani’s personal advocate Usman effectively argued for hours citing the meaninglessness of bringing in UAPA provisions in to this case in between a new prosecutor took charge as the earlier one resigned. This prosecutor on taking charge without even providing Madani’s advocates a copy; filed some documents in to the case file, then the hearing lasted only for around 10 minutes and the court rejected Madani’s application. Now I have decided on to go for an appeal, Madani said.
While the charge was being framed, the other accused in the case proclaimed that they have no faith in the court and Madani was rather silent on that occasion. And when the court asked Madani to make his comment, he replied saying that, “This court has failed to even act like it is delivering justice to the accused, though I must say, I haven’t lost faith in this court”.
On asked regarding the CPIM party’s huge reception on his acquittal from Coimbatore jail and Madani’s support for the left front in the Loksabha bye election at Ponnani he said, the circumstances were as such, I am neither satisfied nor guilty thinking about those.
Being acquitted of the Coimbatore blast case after long 10 years Madani always had two police officers for his security and was in close observance of the Kerala Police and still the Karnataka Police is not hesitant to charge him with conspiracy in Bangalore bomb blasts. Questions like how Madani might have reached Kudaku in Karnataka, escaping all security measures and all eyes in Kerala [being a very familiar face] that too in a wheel chair as always still goes unanswered. But that doesn’t mean he will get acquitted because according to the prevailing draconian laws the accused is entitled with the responsibility to prove within all limitations that all these charges are forged against him. Under normal cases it is the duty of the prosecution to prove such charges but according to TADA, POTA and UAPA, the accused is obliged to prove his innocence on his own. Though courts normally won’t accept witness statements before the Police as valid evidences, such “statements” are accepted as evidence in special courts, notes NM Sidheeq.