Madani cycle enters round two as accused turns ‘victim’ again

National

Muslim organisations such as the Popular Front of India and the Jamaat-e-Islami have taken up the issue of alleged rights violations. Last year, intellectuals and human rights activists including Binayak Sen took up the denial of proper treatment for Madani. Several writers, film personalities and social activists joined the campaign, which has recently been taken over by mainstream political parties.

"With the Popular Front of India and the Jamaat-e-Islami playing up the Madani issue, mainstream political parties could not afford to remain mute," says columnist O Abdulla. "Pressure from other Muslim organisation has forced Congress ally IUML to demand humane consideration for Madani."

The IUML, the PDP's political rival, was the first to demand better healthcare for Madani. "There are hundreds of Muslims jailed in India as undertrials. Madani is a glaring example of the serious issue that the government should address," says E T Muhammed Basheer, an IUML MP.

Basheer says his party's political rivalry with Madani remains, but added the kind of human rights violations he is facing cannot be tolerated. "We don't look at Madani from a political viewpoint, but as an example of violation of human rights."

On the sudden surge of support around Madani, BJP state president V Muraleedharan says the Congress and the CPM have taken up the IUML agenda with political motive. "The BJP will oppose any move to meddle with the case pending in court,'' he says.

Date by date

March 31, 1998: Madani is arrested from his house in Kochi following a production warrant from a magistrate's court in Kozhikode in a pending case about provocative speech in 1994. Remanded in judicial custody.

April 9, 1998: Coimbatore police probing the serial blast of February 14, 1998, take him into custody. Blasts was allegedly targeted at L K Advani; 58 killed.

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