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Published in the 1-15 May 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Continued detention of Madani without evidence 

By Khan Vellayani

The Milli Gazette Online

People’s Democratic Party chairman Abdul Nazer Madani of Kerala was arrested on March 31, 1998 from his house in Kochi at midnight alleging he spoke condemning the demolition of Babri Masjid and subsequent persecution of Muslims. He is a renowned religious leader and a darling of the poor, oppressed Muslims of Kerala. He is running an orphanage in his home town Karunagapally where hundreds of boys neglected by the society are staying and studying.

As he was returning from a prayer, Hindu nazis threw bombs on him but fortunately he escaped losing a leg below the knee. The handicapped Madani was arrested and sent to Coimbatore jail. Editor of DV, VT Rajshekar, visited Madani in the Coimbatore jail on August 29, 2000.

Everybody condemned the barbaric demolition of the Babri Masjid with the support of the state. The judiciary and the govt. are treating the demolition of the mosque as an anti-national act. If so, how can Madani who protested against the demolition be arrested under the Terrorist Act? Madani has not killed anybody, looted anybody’s wealth or demolished others’ worshipping places or harmed the security of the nation. Madani is being tortured in jail to satisfy the Hindu nazis who demolished the Masjid. No specific chargesheet has been filed against him. No witness has testified anything against him. The only charge is that he made speeches condemning the demolition of the Babri Masjid. He is now doing his routine work sitting in a wheelchair. He is suffering from all sorts of ailments. The broken duplicate leg has not been replaced so far and hence he is not in a position to sit or sleep. When he was arrested, he was 105kgs (weight) and now he is only 45kgs. The Kerala High Court has opined that "keeping Madani in jail for over six years without any conviction is inhuman and not in accordance with the rights and privileges conferred by the Constitution". It is also stated that many of the cases and charges levelled against him had been found baseless. The govt. did not grant him bail even when his grandmother died.

The TN government is requested to be kind to this handicapped prisoner in great distress. Madani is not an "extremist" like those who destroyed the Babri Masjid. His wife is now totally broken. She is thinking of selling her house. She has to re-pay heavy amount borrowed for Madani’s case and treatment. She and her two children will live in rented house or in any orphanage. Kindly show mercy and release him from prison, Justice delayed is justice denied. (Dalit Voice)
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