Jailbird holds the trump card
A posse of political leaders are visiting Coimbatore jail to pay respects to former chief of Islamic Seva Sangh.india Updated: Mar 31, 2006 21:58 IST
Poll time gimmicks are mite a many. But this one sure takes a beating. A posse of political leaders from Kerala are making a beeline to the Coimbatore central jail to pay their respects to Abdul Nasser Madani, former chief of the Islamic Seva Sangh.
Madani was jailed for his alleged role in the Coimbatore blasts, targeted at BJP leader and former deputy prime minister LK Advani.
Earlier, Left, UDF and LDF leaders frequent the jailed leader on the sly. But now it is no longer a hush-hush affair. CPM MP TK Hamsa, Muslim League rebel TK Jaleel and UDF leaders have been seen doing the rounds of the jail in the last two days.
All are singing his praise to reap poll dividends. They blame each other for the fundamentalists' plight -- who has been cooling his heels in jail for the last eight years.
Two weeks back, the assembly had passed a unanimous resolution, CM Oommen Chandy had met his Tamil Nadu counterpart and his wife had petitioned President A P J Abdul Kalam, there were many attempts to get him released. But the Tamil Nadu government refused to heed their plea citing "serious nature of charges leveled against him."
But what really gives him some sympathy and concern is his failing health and detention sans parole. He lost one of his legs in an alleged RSS attack sometime back and the other is near amputation due to diabetes. When his close relatives were died he was denied a parole and all his attempts to get treatment outside the cell were also failed.
"He really deserves sympathy and better treatment. But we have our limitations in dealing with a case registered outside the state," Chandy, who made several attempts to get him released, said.
A fiery orator Madani, who hails from Kollam, floated the Islamic Sewa Sangh on the lines of RSS in 1990s to capitalize the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He disbanded it when it was banned after Babri masjid demolition.
Soon he floated the People's Democratic Party, a moderate outfit. He was arrested two months after the serial blasts in Coimbatore in which 58 lives were lost. The target was Adavni who had a providential escape.