Muslim League to seek release of Maadani

Updated 09 December 2012
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Muslim League to seek release of Maadani

NEW DELHI: Indian Union Muslim League, the key ally of the ruling Congress party in the southern state of Kerala, said yesterday it would take initiative to ensure trial or release of Abdunnasar Maadani, who is jailed in the neighboring Karnataka state on terror charges.
“He deserves humanitarian consideration and the state government should intervene to ensure that. We don’t expect the Karanataka government (of Bharatiya Janata Party) to do justice,” IUML general secretary KPA Majeed said in a statement here.
The cleric, who founded the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and unsuccessfully fielded a candidate in the 2009 general elections with the support of the communists, was soon picked up from his headquarters in Kerala by Karnataka sleuths and charged with planting bombs in India’s software hub of Bangalore.
He has since been in jail without trial or bail though he went up to the Supreme Court seeking release on humanitarian grounds. Civil rights activists and his party workers who visited him say the 48-year-old, who is an acute diabetic patient, has partly lost his eyesight and his health is deteriorating day by day.
The Karnataka High Court had last month permitted him to seek treatment in a hospital of his choice under police escort. Charged with conspiring the 2008 July blasts along with 30 other persons, he was arrested in 2010 and incarcerated in Parappana Agrahara jail where he had remained since.
“The public opinion in Kerala about Maadani is that nobody should be kept in jail without trial or bail and should get justice. We don’t subscribe to his politics but we’ll be in the forefront protect his human rights,” said Industries Minister PK Kunhalikutty, a senior IUML leader.
In January, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had written to his Karnataka counterpart seeking his intervention to ensure better health care facilities and speedy disposal of the cases pending against him following Opposition Leader VS Achuthanandan, who was the chief minister when Ma’dani was arrested.
Ma’dani, who was acquitted in 2008 after being imprisoned by the neighboring Tamil Nadu state for nearly a decade as an under-trial in the 1998 Coimbatore serial blasts, was an ally of the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) until his arrest in connection with the Bangalore blasts during which one woman was killed.
Interestingly the LDF was in power during both these arrests and it was listed as an achievement of LDF rule earlier.
Karnataka Police registered the case against him following the arrest of Thadiyantavide Nazir, an activist of the now-defunct Islamic Sevak Sangh, which Madani headed before he dissolved the outfit and entered electoral politics through PDP before he went to jail.
Ma’dani claims he was framed and at least two of the prosecution witnesses have since denied to have given statements against him and that they were forced to sign in documents written in Kannada which they cannot read or write. However, Karanataka government insists that the investigators have gathered strong evidence against Ma’dani.
In 2009, National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths probing terrorism-related activities arrested his wife Sufiya Ma’dani for her alleged role in burning a bus owned by Tamil Nadu in 2005 while her husband was imprisoned there. She was later released on bail.
Thadiyantavide Nazeer, former Maadani aide and alleged selfstyled south Indian commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba, is the prime accused in the case while Sufiya Ma’dani figures 10th on the list of defendants. They are charged with treason and conspiracy to wage war against the state. The bus burning case probe gathered momentum after Nazeer was reportedly arrested in Bangladesh and handed over to India.


Kim and Moon to meet at military demarcation line before inter-Korea summit

Updated 20 min 38 sec ago
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Kim and Moon to meet at military demarcation line before inter-Korea summit

  • When Kim Jong Un steps over the line he will become the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War ended 65 years ago
  • Kim will be given a military honor guard on Friday and the two leaders will walk to the Peace House, a glass and concrete building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom

SEOUL: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s president Moon Jae-in will meet at the Military Demarcation Line that divides the peninsula before their summit Friday, Seoul said, in an occasion laden with symbolism.
Moon will greet his visitor at the concrete blocks that mark the border between the two Koreas in the Demilitarized Zone, the chief of the South’s presidential secretariat Im Jong-seok said.
When Kim steps over the line he will become the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War ended 65 years ago.
The meeting will be only the third of its kind, following summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, and the high point so far of a rapid diplomatic rapprochement on the tension-wracked peninsula, ahead of a much-anticipated meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump.
The North’s nuclear arsenal will be high on the agenda. Pyongyang has made rapid progress in its weapons development under Kim, who inherited power from his father in 2011.
Last year it carried out its sixth nuclear blast, by far its most powerful to date, and launched missiles capable of reaching the US mainland, sending tensions soaring as Kim and Trump traded personal insults and threats of war.
Moon seized on the South’s Winter Olympics as an opportunity to try to broker dialogue between them.
But Im played down expectations, saying that the North’s technological advances meant deal would need to be “fundamentally different in nature from denuclearization agreements reached in the 1990s and early 2000s.”
“That’s what makes this summit all the more difficult,” he added.
“The difficult part is at what level the two leaders will be able to reach an agreement regarding (the North’s) willingness to denuclearize,” he said, “and how it will be expressed in text.”
In the past, North Korean support for the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” has been code for the removal of US troops from the South and the end of its nuclear umbrella over its security ally — prospects unthinkable in Washington.
Trump has demanded the North give up its weapons, and Washington is pressing for it to do so in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way.
Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, said that the issue was “not something that can be decided between the North and South.”
“North Korea will want to see first what kind of offer it will get on regime security guarantees,” he said.
“That will be discussed at the US-North Korea summit and it’s not easy to promise denuclearization before any concrete talks on that.”
In recent days Seoul has promoted the idea of a path toward a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which stopped with a cease-fire, but Im did not mention the issue.
Reunions of families left divided by the conflict could also be discussed, and Moon has told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he would raise the emotive subject of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the North’s agents.
Kim will be given a military honor guard on Friday and the two leaders will walk to the Peace House, a glass and concrete building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom where the summit will be held.
Kim will sign the guest book before the morning session starts, Im said, describing the occasion as a “summit for peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.”
The North’s group will cross back to its side for lunch, and before the afternoon session Moon and Kim will together plant “a pine tree, which stands for peace and prosperity, on the (Military Demarcation Line), which has symbolized confrontation and division over the past 65 years,” Im said.
The soil will come from Mount Paektu, on the North’s border with China, and Mount Halla, on the South’s southern island of Jeju.
After they sign an agreement a joint statement will be issued.
“We are thinking it could be called the ‘Panmunjom Declaration’,” Im added.
A banquet and farewell ceremony will follow in the evening before Kim returns to the North.
Pyongyang’s delegation will include Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong, one of his closest advisers, who attended the Winter Olympics in the South in February as his envoy.
The North’s ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, who accompanied Yo Jong to the Games, will also be part of the group, as will its foreign and defense ministers.
“Unlike in the past, the delegation includes top military official and diplomats,” Im said.
“We did not expect this. We believe it signals that North Korea views the summit not just as a North-South summit but is also considering the US-North Korea summit.”