Karnataka government changes prosecutor in Bengaluru blast case in final stage of trial, delays case against Madani by several months

Last month Karnataka High Court had ordered the trial to be completed within two months.

The Congress-JDS government in Karnataka has replaced the Special Public Prosecutor in the 2008 Bengaluru blast case when the trial was just about to complete. On September 20, the Karnataka High Court had ordered that the trial into the case have to be completed within two months, and the trial was in its final stage.

On Thursday, former public prosecutor K Rudraswamy appeared in the special terrorism court with a notification from the state government appointing him as the Special Public Prosecutor for the case, effectively replacing current prosecutor Sadashiva Murthy. This means that the trial that was to be concluded by November 20, will now have to be extended by several months, as the new prosecutor will require that much time to study the enormous volume of documents and witness statements recorded in the case.

This case pertains to the serial blasts in Bengaluru on 25th July 2008, where two persons were killed and dozens were injured. A total of nine low-intensity crude bombs were used in the blasts.

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Kerala’s PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) leader Abdul Nasser Madani is one of the prime accused in the case. In 2009, two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were arrested from the Bangladesh border, and their interrogation revealed significance information about serial blasts in several cities in India, including the Bengaluru blasts. From this investigation, several Muslim youths were arrested, and Abdul Nasser Madani’s link with the blasts was revealed. He was arrested in August 2010 for his involvement in the blasts by Karnataka police.

Sadashiva Murthy said that he was removed from the case without any prior intimation to him. Talking to Times Now, he said that he had almost completed the case, and he was conducting the case effectively without yielding to any pressure. He said that many people were not satisfied with the way case was going on. When asked who are these people, he said that Madani was very influential in the previous government, and his influence continues now also.

Other than PDP, Madani had also established Islamic Seva Sangh in 1989, which was banned in 1992 for terrorist activities. He was also accused of fanning hatred following the Babri demolition, and alleged to have links with Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In 2011 while hearing a bail plea of Madani, Justice Markandeya Katju had wondered how can a person on wheelchair pose a threat if granted bail, referring to the amputated leg of Madani. But Justice Gyan Sudha Misra had declined bail, saying the charges against the person are serious.

Madani had requested permission for visiting Kerala from October 29 to November 4 to meet his ailing mother, and Sadashiva Murthy had sought stringent conditions for allowing this visit. In its order granting him permission, the court had said that Madani cannot meet any party member, can’t carry or share any documents with anyone. Now sources in the legal department in the state say that he was removed from the case due to this reason. If the allegation is true, this suggests that Madani wields significant influence on the Kerala government, who has effectively delayed the case by several months which was to be over by next month as per High Court order.

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